Playmaker's sets out to explain strategy

WASHINGTON: Alan Kelly, Applied Communications founder, has started a marketing software consultancy, The Playmaker's Standard, based on his new book, The Elements of Influence.

WASHINGTON: Alan Kelly, Applied Communications founder, has started a marketing software consultancy, The Playmaker's Standard, based on his new book, The Elements of Influence.

The consultancy, which Kelly said provides "a periodic table of strategy that lends itself to practitioners in any of the influence industries," launches with two undisclosed, debut clients: one major chemical company and one major pharmaceutical company.

Kelly's process intends to standardize how companies look at their marketing through an analytical chart called the Playmaker's Table, which includes different sections for assessments, conditions, and engagements. Kelly will provide examples of how to use the table on his blog, located on Plays2run.com. One example of a "play" is the peacock: using a novelty to spur market conversation, such as when Oprah gave away free cars on her show.

Kelly intends to sell his knowledge to two different audiences: Web tools to individuals, and the tools and consulting to corporate and agency clients. Kelly said intended consultancy clients would include chief communications officers, CMOs, divisional PR heads, campaign strategists, and account managers at agencies.

"It's for anyone whose ultimate responsibilities have to deal with defending or supporting a position or agenda," Kelly said, adding that his consultancy and book helped "clarify the general theory that I've been developing - that strategies can be reduced down into a set."

He added, "The benefit is a competitive advantage whether you're running them or [knowing when] someone is running them at you."

Kelly said that the balance between art and science is always vital in PR and that the availability of more tools doesn't totally eliminate the need for one's "gut."

"There's a lot to be said about people who run plays so instinctively," Kelly says. "But there's a lot of room - and probably overdue - for a system that can tell us more precisely how we are deploying strategies and be able to illustrate it in a way that helps us do our work more effectively."

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