Recently I was invited by Ben Smith to be interviewed for the PR Moment podcast where we talked about attention-grabbing campaigns, exciting clients wins for ENGINE Mischief and the challenges we navigated over the past year.
Things were going on smoothly until I told Ben how I thought PR people were ‘inherently optimistic’. He nearly choked on his water and ‘begged to differ’, given his experience of them. Ben’s response struck a chord with me then, and still resonates with me now. In my opinion optimism is not only a preferred trait in PR, it’s an essential one. Given the rejection we experience on daily basis – by media, in pitches and also by clients when presenting ideas – if you weren’t inherently optimistic you’d fold pretty quickly in this industry. And optimism doesn’t mean being ‘shiny shiny happy’ 24/7, it means believing that better times are never more than 24 hours away.
That optimism has served us all well in surviving the challenges of the last year – and we need to double down on it now.
Last week saw the easing of lockdown measures and provoked endless debate about what it will mean for the UK economy. I’m no economist so I can’t comment on the potential post-lockdown spending habits but I am a psychologist (a recent hard earned Diploma in Psychotherapy will testify to that) so I have a pretty good understanding of people’s mindsets. As we know, for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction, and after many long dark months of being sat on the sofa there is a huge appetite among people to be out in the world again – seeing friends and family, spending time and money doing the things they love.
And as PR practitioners and budget holders it’s our responsibility to give the people what they want.
Now is the time for big, bold, brave campaigns. Creative work that speaks to the heart, not just the head. Expansive, emotional ideas rooted in real human insights. Work that grabs consumers attentions and pulls on the three key levers we’ve identified at ENGINE Mischief - personal, surprising and emotional.
Optimistic work, in other words.
There’s no doubt the world has changed significantly over the last twelve months and I’m certainly not advocating for naive or reckless work. But, on the back of those changes, also comes huge opportunity. We’re on the verge of launching the next iteration of our Attention Rebellion platform, a report showcasing the new trends that will inform what personal, surprising and emotional campaigns look like post-lockdown (and beyond). And within those trends there’s plenty for our award winning planners and creatives to get their teeth stuck into and create impactful and exciting campaigns for our brands.
We’ll be launching the report at the start of May, but if you’re keen to keen hear more about how ENGINE Mischief can help brands navigate this brave new world before then please let me know.
It’s been a tough time for many over the past twelve months, with plenty of obstacles to overcome. But we now, collectively, have the chance to raise the nation’s spirits and smiles, and it would be remiss of us not to grasp that opportunity – optimistically – with both hands.
Listen to the full episode here.