A stellar line up of the industry’s leaders and influencers spoke to a packed audience of PR and comms professionals as Cision’s World Tour event series came to London yesterday.
Following events in Chicago, San Francisco and New York, the London conference saw CIPR president Jason MacKenzie, The Future Laboratory co-founder Chris Sanderson, Mischief head of influence Lucy Hart, and more, discuss the future of PR and communications.
Cision CEO Kevin Akeroyd kicked off the debate by discussing how the time is right for earned media – including PR and media relations – to take its rightful place in the marketing mix and get its rightful share of marketing budgets.
Chris Lynch, CMO at Cision, explained how brands, including Dove, are combining great storytelling with data science. This is helping them uncover the right influencers to share their stories, craft great content and, ultimately, link coverage with customer behaviour.
“Consumers love trusted third parties, so that recognition that businesses have under-invested in earned media is happening now,” Akeroyd said. “We’ve got a great opportunity right now, but we can’t keep doing the same thing.”
He added: “We’ve got to invest in data, tech and measurement.”
MacKenzie chaired a Q&A session with Hart and Telefónica UK‘s director of corporate affairs Nicola Green which discussed how to establish a win-win relationship between your brand and the media. They delved into the best ways to re-imagine marketing and communications strategies in 2017.
Green said: “When we can deliver against our business objectives then, I can guarantee, that’s the one time a board sits up and listens. This is our opportunity – we’ve been waiting donkey’s years to get the board to realise how great comms is.”
Finally, Chris Sanderson, co-founder of The Future Laboratory, made a series of bold predictions for the future of PR and predicted a new era of communications creativity in his well-received keynote speech at the end of the event, which was chaired by Cision’s Philip Smith.
Sanderson commented: “There’s an opportunity here for us to think about how we create stories and platforms where there’s real meaning and there’s a real opportunity to convey what we think is important about our brand or product. The challenge is to figure out how to blend story and brand.”