Since we started our PR/Marketing program in September, we have literally watched hundreds of videos, read dozens upon dozens of case studies, discussed current events, and learned both theoretical and practical applications of a vast array of Public Relations tools and techniques. Now that we are nearing the end of the program and I reflect back on everything we have learned, I find myself particularly drawn to the awareness campaigns.
If you asked me to list for you the “7 C’s” framework of web design, which was heavily featured in a very recent course, I would likely stare at you for several minutes through confused, glazed eyes and refer you to my good friend, Wiki! However, ask me about an awareness campaign that made an impact on me, and I could easily list 10 without any hesitation.
While many campaigns have a definite marketing slant (i.e. Dove’s Real Beauty Campaign), the power of the message they deliver is undeniably strong. Some campaigns, however, are pure PR…pure awareness building. My favourite of the many, many we studied is The Girl Effect.
This video had such a tremendous impact on me when I saw it that I have never forgotten it. I watch it regularly and have also begun watching the follow-up videos that feature different girls from underdeveloped countries who are making a difference in their communities.
The influence of awareness campaigns has made me really think about the power of story-telling in public relations. How sending out a press release might be a tried and tested PR tool, but will never, ever be as impactful as painting a picture and creating an image in the minds of your audience. Don’t get me wrong; of course I understand the importance of press releases and know they have a place in the industry. However, there are so many unique and creative ways to get your message out. Looking at ways to tell a story rather than just deliver facts will always be at the forefront of my mind as I embark on my new career.