Crafting the news, with an eye on the future

PR is all about surveying the news landscape and looking at what’s next in order to weave future threads through the stories we tell for clients.

Everybody in PR today is so preoccupied with social media strategy and digital platforms that it borders on the obsessive. At Havas PR , we get close to the core of what PR is all about through newscrafting – surveying the landscape and identifying microtargets that spell growth for the brands we shepherd. (We know social media, too: In the U.K., for example, our Cupola Lab is a specialist SoMe team, working Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and all the social channels you may never have heard of, to maximum advantage.)

Feeding into our newscrafting expertise is our other specialty as dedicated trendspotters. We’re always keeping our eye on what’s next and playing to the strength of passionate populations. As a result, we often see a now-and-next thread that we can weave through the stories we tell for our clients. All of our campaigns are designed to create content that percolates editorial and social channels simultaneously, creating a multiplier effect and generating real momentum.

With access to some of the smartest planning and creative brains in Havas Worldwide—and the entire Havas PR Global Collective—we don’t just generate headlines, we develop ideas that are socially contagious. We aren’t just pushing out the message or amplifying advertising. That’s the old PR.

A hallmark of the new Havas PR Global Collective is that we are part of a global team that responds and reacts and shapes its proposition to very fast-changing external environments and dynamics. We aren’t so bound by the rigid structures of a traditional network.

We call ourselves "networked" rather than a "network"—to us, "network" is rigid and inflexible. "Networked" is a state of mind, a way of working in a collaborative and supportive way. At Havas PR, we are empowered to do things a little bit different and radical to achieve desired outcomes for our clients. We build relationships with constituents, influencers and customers.

We have the ability to identify and build the right kind of solution for each individual market and to have global and local sensitivity operating in tandem. This simultaneous functionality is key as more and more companies are realising that to build a national brand they have to do it region by region.

Under our Havas Worldwide Climate Change practice umbrella, we were able to put all this into practice for our global assignment with the United Nations Foundation. We lived "local is the new global" and vice-versa, with the New York team pulling together Havas PR UK, Maitland (Europe’s leading financial, corporate and political communications consultancy), our parent agency, Havas Paris Worldwide, and Red Agency (led by transplanted Brit James Wright), to form the ultimate networked team of climate champions.

We created a real-time, multinational, global media team to save the earth—shifting the course of conversation around climate change. As a global team, we shored up a solid base of media-coached scientists from around the world, executed a thoughtful media outreach effort connecting scientists in target countries to important local and national media, and launched a digital strategy to provide a new resource for climate change influencers around the world.

In that case—and every other—we identify what’s driving the future, gaining direction for piloting brands with smart, insightful strategies focused on long-term success. Weaving those future-centric, on-trend elements into the stories we craft for clients makes sure they own the trends that others are just following.

Our motto for our clients and our agency sums it up: Don’t just be in the news; be the news.

Marian Salzman is CEO, North America of Havas PR and chairman of the Havas PR Global Collective



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