It is a noisy world we live in. We communicate and receive communications every minute. Do we remember all of it? Do we act on all of it? Obviously not.
So what is it that makes us stop, take notice and then act? It is usually something that impacts our life —something that makes our life better, easier, more successful, happier, and fuller.
This is exactly what award-winning campaigns do. They don’t just set and achieve communications goals. They deliver actual business impact, making tangible difference to the business.
They get more people to sign up for a new, untested educational institution. They get the right people to support a non-profit and raise funds for it. They get more people to travel to a less popular destination. They help customer service departments engage directly with customers so issues are resolved before they turn into crises.
Most people talk about the big idea. Of course, it is important to have that. Creativity, visual storytelling, packaging—all these are critical. They break through the clutter of entries that you are faced with and grab your attention. But a great idea that doesn’t deliver on the business of business is an empty, if sometimes pretty, shell.
Too often we see the communications team being the last to hear about actions taken by the business.
One of the ways in which campaigns can ensure business impact is when communications doesn’t just work as last-mile amplification of a business initiative but is actually the author of action that makes a difference to business. And we are increasingly seeing that happen.
Effective PR teams are setting the tone on how to connect the dots between the business imperative and what communication is capable of achieving. The word ‘action’ is hidden in ‘communication’ and how that is leveraged and used to create business impact is what I am most looking forward to seeing.
When communications is the author of action it often has all the ingredients for an award-winning campaign.
There are, of course, other things I am hoping to see. The biggest one is whether employees have been engaged with as stakeholders, as a part of a larger communications campaign.
In the work we do, I have seen first-hand the importance and value of harnessing the voice of the employee. In an integrated campaign especially, it would be interesting to see whether and in what way employee engagement has been given its due.
In the end it all boils down to the bottom line. If a campaign is created to address a business need and delivers, we are showcasing in the best way possible the power and potential of the public relations discipline. When that sweet spot is achieved, the award comes easy.