February 6, 2014

Telling Tales: The Narrative Revenue Opportunity

by Dr. Bill Nichols, Astrophel group

‘Narrative, narrative’ everywhere. It’s a staple of consultancy creds. Every PR campaign and every brand, apparently, should have one.

But how exactly do you sell it? Make money? And, as a client, what are you buying?

Cynics say 20 years of narrative chat is just consultant re-packaging – backstories and news agendas remixed. A case of: ‘the sun shone down, having no alternative, on the nothing new’ – to quote a favourite narrative opening! (‘A’)

Maybe. But my own research review is surprisingly positive. It comes with two caveats. That: (1) PR folks really are the great storytellers; and (2) PR consultancy management teams really want to exit their traditional comfort zone and exploit their intellectual assets (e.g. storytelling).

So what are the prospects? This little narrative is a ‘will-they-do-it? And like ‘whodunnits’, we need means, motive and first…

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(A) Beckett, S, Murphy (1938);

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March 21, 2012

Breathing life into our brands

One of the hot topics in the media industry at the moment is brand activation. In fact, it’s been a hot topic for quite a while, but it seems as though more and more agencies are realizing its potential. And interesting enough, new agencies are being birthed based on brand activation alone. But what exactly is it, and are we, as PR agencies in Germany, exploring this medium enough?

The reason I’m asking the question of Germany specifically, is because I think the market might be slightly more conservative in Germany than in other countries. And there might be many reasons for this. But take South Africa, for example. It’s still very much in a developmental phase, and perhaps, as a result, in a position to take more risks? What is also fascinating (and often very frustrating too) about working in the media industry in South Africa, is that we hardly ever have big budgets to play with. On the one hand, this can be incredibly limiting. But on the other hand, I’ve found that it also forces one to be insanely creative, and to think outside the box at all times. In my opinion, this is the main reason why brand activation has taken flight to such an extent in South Africa. It’s an incredibly creative activity that one can often pull-off without spending a fortune.

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August 26, 2011

To Siez or to Sitz

I’m a South African living and working in Munich, and I’ve recently joined the Fortis PR team on a freelance basis. This is my first stint in a German PR company, and I’m finding it fascinating! There are so many differences between the ways English speaking countries do PR and communication, opposed to the way it’s done in Germany. Yet at the same time, there are so many surprising similarities. So for those of you who have to deal with this phenomenon, my chatter is especially for you. That means that you’re welcome to join in! Whether you agree, disagree, or have some stories of your own.

And because I find the PR industry in itself quite riviting, I’m also going to be chatting about new PR trends, developments and whatever I come across on my escapades that might interest you.

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