The changing media and consumer landscape means that PR and marketing initiatives need to be aligned more than ever before if brands are to be successful agree the panel at Gorkana‘s latest panel event.

From the power of social media to the increasing influence of mobile, there are a number of factors powering this trend, highlighted the members of the panel: Alastair Pegg, marketing director at The Co-operative Bank, Omaid Hiwaizi, president, global marketing at Blippar and Gary Andrews, social media editor at Direct Line Group. Philip Smith, head of news and content at Gorkana, led the discussion.
(Pictured left to right: Gary Andrews, Omaid Hiwaizi, Alastair Pegg and Philip Smith)

They discussed how important it is to keep both agencies – from all sides of the marketing and PR spectrum – and internal marketing and comms departments working together to ensure marketing, PR and brand initiatives are successful.

Success can come in many forms. Hiwaizi, for instance, says Blippar wants to create ‘cultural ripples, or moments’ and there are few higher accolades for a brand, than ‘becoming’ a verb, such as, ‘to Blip’.

Over 80 minutes or so, here are just a couple of the highlights:

Integration is crucial to campaign success

Pegg explained that the power and speed of social media has highlighted the need for total alignment of agencies and marketing and comms teams. “If you don’t line it up, you can come unstuck in a very quick amount of time,” he warned. The Co-operative Bank’s latest campaign ‘It’s good to be different’ is an example of this idea, he added. The television advertising campaign was supported by a series of complementary adverts created by myclever for the bank’s social media platforms. To get internal departments working together better, he suggested, it is important to get staff focused on the idea at the heart of the campaign. He added: “People get genuinely excited about what they are trying to do.”

‘Snackable’, personalised content is key as mobile grows and grows

Social is important but mobile has powered some of the biggest changes in media in the last 12 months, Hiwaizi suggested. Consumers are more reliant on consuming content by mobile than ever before. “If you leave home without your keys you can survive,” he quipped. “But leave home without your mobile? What do you do?” Their desire to consume content on mobile devices means it must be both ‘snackable’ and ‘personalised’, he recommended.

Back to basics – keep your strategy, objectives and audience in mind

The clearer you are about your objectives and the audience you want to reach, the better, Andrews stressed. This will help you determine how you use the respective strengths of paid, owned and earned media. Using the example of Direct Line’s recent #DirectFix campaign, he explained: “We can immediately see the communities we want to go out to. We can immediately see where the ‘earned’ media potential is. We can take that potential and say, put ‘paid’ elements on here and we can use it to amplify the content rather than lead.”

He added that distribution is key. “Great content that nobody sees is just content that nobody sees.”

Panel Event 24


More than 120 people from the Gorkana community turned out for the panel event.

Andrea Ttofa, head of media and PR at NHS Blood and Transplant, said: “The Gorkana panel event ‘Secrets to Marketing and PR success’ provided rich debate and insight into paid, earned and owned channels.

“The speakers confirmed to me that success relies on a clear focus on audience and objectives, channel integration and amplification, and inhouse and agency teams working together to deliver high quality behaviour change activities that resonate with those audiences and deliver tangible results.”

Here’s what some of them had to say on social:



Gorkana is running a series of panel events examining key communications and PR issues. Please contact events@gorkana.com if you would like to get involved. For details on upcoming events please go to the events channel online.

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