PR+MKTG Camp East – Creating Alignment Between Marketing and PR

I’m attending the PR+MKTG Camp East event today in NYC.  You can follow my tweets (as well as those of the other attendees) by following #PRMKTGCamp.  The program includes several full-group speeches as well as break-out sessions with Marketing and PR professionals.  The goal of the conference is to highlight how PR and marketing personnel overlap and work together.  Dan Greenfield, the producer of the event, believes that “social media is blurring traditional boundaries” between the PR and marketing functions.

Keynote:  Buzz Marketing and Getting People Talking

Ellen Stone, SVP of Marketing at Bravo Media, delivered a keynote address this morning.  At Bravo, there is a belief of breaking down the silos of marketing, press, and digital.  “Buzz is in [Bravo’s] DNA”, Stone explained.  The initial buzz generated by “Queer Eye” several years ago created a template for giving platforms to talent that can engage audiences and taking trends to the mainstream.

Bravo’s buzz model has four basic tenets:

  • Think in Headlines (press and consumer)
  • Partner (find the right like-minded partners to extend your buzz)
  • Innovate
  • Measure

Stone explained the history of partnerships between Bravo and channels like Elle and Foursquare.  In the case of partnering with Foursquare, Stone consulted with the digital and PR teams to understand how to use the service to drive buzz and engagement.  In addition to getting buzz from tech publications, Bravo quickly got buzz from newspapers ranging from the New York Times to USA Today.  Bravo is now first in number of followers on Foursquare and “entertainment” in unlocking Foursquare badges.

Innovation means that you’re willing to take risks.  You shouldn’t stretch your brand beyond its limits, but you have to be willing to take it right up to that point.  For example, Bravo generated buzz for its Top Chef Just Desserts program by working with retailers, restaurants, and web channels to drive customer interactions.  Measurements, meanwhile, include traditional metrics as well as the semantics and level of engagements from fans on Twitter, Facebook, and Bravo’s own boards.  Bravo ranks highest in “conversational catalysts” this year among networks.

Bravo’s goals are two pronged: they want buzz, but they also want engagement.  After all, demonstrating a large, active, and engaged audience benefits its ad sales.  Bravo seeks to create a two-way dialogie with its viewers.  It’s impossible to own a conversation, so when a brand starts a conversation, it must continue to participate in it.

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