Inspiring lessons in communications from Cannes Lions

Emily MorganAll the inspiring work at Cannes Lions got me thinking about excellence in communications generally. And how although we all really love a big award-winning creative idea we know that clients want and need brilliant basics too.

So here’s an imaginary set of communications awards we can aspire to win… in our own minds.

Best rebuttal: Gently correcting media for inaccurate reporting is a horrible but essential job. And it takes real skill to get the outcome you need without causing offence.

Best media list: Chucking your content far and wide and hoping it sticks is a thing of the past. Precise targeting using audience data and an in-depth understanding of what the media want can be a laborious process for sure. But it’s worth it for the results that lead to measurable outputs.

Best competitor tracking: Knowing what and how your competitors are communicating is essential when considering your own comms strategy. No one lives in a vacuum. Audiences are receiving a myriad of messages but we usually don’t have the budget to track every item of competitor coverage.

Best multi-tasker: Getting a story out can be like making a roast dinner with all the trimmings. In the last ten mins everything needs your attention at the same time. A cool head is essential simultaneously juggling the needs of media, bloggers, clients, teams etc.

Best data analysis: Not being good with figures in today’s age of big data could be your downfall. Creating a ten second soundbite from a ten page data set takes intelligence, an eye for detail as well as big picture thinking.

Best contacts: In an age where ‘content is king’ and quite rightly celebrated, the skill it takes to get someone to look at that content is often over-looked. To build, maintain and nurture relationships takes a huge amount of effort, and the ability to listen not just sell.

Best event bible: A ‘check-list’ is not sufficient for event brilliance. You need to go deep… and it’s a slog to get there. But an event is LIVE… there’s no scope for mistakes and you need to have thought through every possible scenario.

Best blogger research: Really taking your time to get to understand bloggers/vloggers/instagrammers etc certainly takes time. There’s a lot of content to review! Taking the task seriously means spot-on recommendations and ultimately spot-on content.

Given these are imaginary awards, I think I’ll end there and have an imaginary glass of bubbles now with my fellow imaginary judges.

By Emily Morgan, MD, Consumer (Life) at  Red Consultancy

Follow Emily on Twitter too!


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