Late for the Party, but Ahead Socially

Candace Kuss
Director of Planning,
Interactive Strategy Director EMEA

As excited as I am about PR being included this year at the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival, there is a certain irony in being invited for the first time during a recession. 2009 is predicted to be much more subdued on the party front.  Pity…PR people may be newbies at Cannes, but we are the gurus of stylish events.

But the more serious quirk of fate is that 2009 is the year social media took centre stage in marketingland. So our debut at Cannes coincides with all the other disciplines discovering the power of the influencer and that a brand touchpoint in earned media is worth exponentially more than a paid impression.

I looked up the criteria for the PR Lions. They are all about “…the creative use of reputation management by the building and preservation of trust and understanding between individuals, businesses or organisations and their publics.”

It is a bit of a mouthful, but Internet empowered trust between people, even across time and distance, is the fuel that makes the web 2.0 technologies work. So whether it is social networks like Facebook, or some of the more fascinating communication tools like Twitter, the intersection between technology and marketing is right where PR has always been. We have decades of practice helping brands earn their way into the public conversation.

I am too superstitious to predict what will win in PR at Cannes, as we have several noble horses in that race. When it is all done and dusted though, I foresee 2009 as the year that not just the Cannes folks, but all of adland finally “got” PR.

Follow me — as well as Niall Cook on the official feed — as we share excitement of our Cannes coming out party, via #HKcannes

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