Brusewitz, corporate PR manager, global communications & PR department, tells PR Week about the importance of integrating public relations across all areas of the brand and the opportunities presented by social media.
How important is the global PR/comms strategy in raising awareness and communicating the brands messages?
Crucial. Without PR you lose a key ingredient in the overall communication mix. PR, however, should not be seen as a separate activity, that you put ‘on top’ of for example marketing, but as an integrated discipline that contributes to communicating the overall business and brand messages. The objectives and goals should to a large extent be the same, even if the tactics and work methods differ, and all disciplines need to be in sync when it comes to messages and timing. Done in the right way, PR is a powerful, credible and cost efficient tool. Done inaccurately, it often fails to fulfill its big potential.
The global communications and PR team drives all PR and communication activities throughout Sony Ericsson; what challenges do you face working across an international organisation?
Working in a global organisation like Sony Ericsson is actually more of an opportunity than a challenge from a PR perspective, in the sense that we have potential spokespersons in every corner of the world with a solid understanding of the local market. The challenge is of course related to messaging and consistency, especially in such a high pace industry as telecoms. You need to strike the right balance between promoting local initiatives and creativity and alignment on messages.
How has digital and social media changed the way you work?
It's changed pretty much everything. Not only that it provides new and flexible platforms for proactive product communications, above all it allows us to have a direct dialogue with our consumers. Through www.facebook.com/sonyericsson and our corporate blogs we get instant feed-back and input and this has given us a more thorough understanding of our end-users and their views of our brand and products. This dialogue has also encouraged us to be more open and transparent in our communication, even if we cannot always share all details or answer all questions.
What are your media must-haves – digital and in-print?
From a product perspective the dialogue with our users on the Sony Ericsson product blog is crucial http://blogs.sonyericsson.com/products. Those that follow the blog are sometimes quite a tough audience from a communication perspective, but many of them are early adopters with great passion for the mobile phone industry and they provide good insights on trends and views that are likely to spread and become more mainstream. From a more traditional point of view, print if you like, the personal encounter with journalists for feature and corporate stories is still unbeatable.