The public relations business has changes significantly over the years, yet agencies within the sector seem to have yet to find their true place in the new world order. If we are really honest, with the universal penetration of social media, PR should have a greater role to play. The industry should be much more sophisticated in content dissemination and message management. Packaging up the huge volume of content that Brands create so that they are media edible is critical, and then having detailed systems in place to handle conversations that go astray. If you think about it, public relations groups should act as newsrooms. That discussion is for another post, but even the kind of content assets that PR firms produce don’t serve their purposes as best as they could.
The typical types of assets that we see from PR are the press release, events, pop-up undertakings, and stunts. For the content side of what PR firms should do, these generally feel so cookie cutter. Even if they get them in the hands of media, the impact on the general public is short lived. Certain Brands have figured out the new world order for PR and have implemented it with brilliance. Red Bull is the true champion, and others have started to see the way. Ikea is one of them.
Ikea has recently shown that corporate communications, press releases, and media relations can be done differently. For the opening of a new store in Croatia, they wanted to send an announcement to the community where their store was going to be placed. The goal was to show their “good neighbour” intentions and to establish themselves as an inspiration to better living. Instead of the typical corporate communications reach out, they created a letter that not only communicated but added value to each home. Have a look.
To get the media excited about the same store opening in Croatia, Ikea didn’t do a typical event or release but instead created a new Ikea product: The Reportaza. This product was an journalist toolkit to write the perfect release. In true Ikea style, with a lot of the expected tools, the product added utility to the journalists and brought to life the Brand’s personality and purposefulness beautifully. Have a look.
In Poland, Brand24 was appointed for an Ikea project. Instead of drafting a typical press release to announce their new win, they developed a short video welcoming Ikea to the agency family. They did this in true Ikea style and in the process received a considerable amount of attention in social media. Granted, this is not directly Ikea doing PR differently, but its uncanny how their partners (even the young ones) fall into the Ikea-way 🙂 Have a look.