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The Influencers

Why the Ad Industry Needs PR

INFLUENCER: Advertising has an image problem, says Kerrie Finch, Founder & CEO of FinchFactor

Why the Ad Industry Needs PR

Externally, the Mad Men fuelled stereotypes loom large in the public conscience. Internally, the industry is rapidly adapting to the changing needs of its clients and their consumers. We’re seeing the rise of subscriber based ‘ad free’ media channels, the proliferation of the in-house creative teams and ever shrinking budgets. Ultimately, advertising is facing one of the most tumultuous periods in its history.

In spite of this, advertising remains a resilient industry, one that houses some of the world’s most adaptive and creative minds. It breaks down a brand’s barriers, growing and future-proofing its business. When done well, it is one of the most powerful forms of storytelling, capable of reaching more people than any other form of media. For many in the trade, it is a passion as well as a profession. This is why advertising not only needs, but deserves PR.

Advertising is full of revolutionary stories and voices that are often never told or heard. Like the proverb of the shoemaker, who is too busy making shoes for his customers to provide for himself or his family, agencies are equally remiss when it comes to telling their own story. Focusing instead on bringing the brand of their clients to life. It is admirable, understandable, but ultimately risky. In a world where industry lines are blurring and competition is rife, the land that was once solely owned by advertising agencies, is now up for grabs.

This is where PR comes in. While agencies focus on delivering exceptional work that differentiates them from their peers, PR, executed through a collaborative partnership, elevates that work to a broader, yet relevant, audience. When we work together, with all the elements running in seamless synchronicity, PR can provide a gravitational pull, harnessing the cross fertilisations of specialisms to bolster the talent, the ideas and the creative.

Through these effective affiliations, PR serves as the hand that holds the mirror up to agencies, helping to sharpen purpose and propel ideas. It addresses the intentions of an agency and shapes them, first into a clear vision and then into an actionable strategy. It helps to identify true thought leaders, guiding them in the articulation of their ideas and sharing them with the world. It celebrates not only the end product, but the craft and creativity that brought it to life. It is recognition of what has and can be accomplished. 

Ultimately, the goal of PR within advertising is to build your brand through earned media, garnered through credibility and trust. It is about influence, recommendation and reputation. PR has the ability to draw often conflicting elements together and architect change. It unearths and communicates the stories that push an agency from a commodity to an authority. In working together, advertising and PR, can begin to reclaim the land. 

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Genre: PR , Strategy/Insight