I’ve been in this business for approximately 15 years in one form or another. Well, lets just say I started at the very bottom aka the receptionist. Far be it for me to disparage humble beginnings… But I digress.
In public relations you are often given the opportunity to pitch a new client as part of what is our industry’s version of the Broadway cattle call. It’s you against them and only one is going to make it onto the stage. I’ve always loved the idea of collaborating, it’s more fun, a bit more like a party – plus, the ideas tend to be better. I’m a fan of partnering.
Obviously, it’s a problem when the fee isn’t big enough to share or egos get out of whack, but when there is a good mix I find there is nothing better than a great partnership. If money wasn’t an issue, I’d do everything for free, and give everything away too. I’d share like crazy. So, in the meantime, we continue to look for creative ways to partner with other agencies. Share the love. It works!
In our business creating brand alliances for our clients is an excellent skill set. It's even better if we get a bonus or a percentage of any funding that is changing hands. In some cases, creating strategic brand alliances can not only help two brands promote themselves through a mutually beneficial arrangement, it can virtually keep them "alive" financially. How do you make the right connection? In our world of consumer goods we look for two brands in non competitive categories that could enhance each other. For instance, a brand with a sexy, luxury halo brings cache to a more stalwart mass brand, while the heavy earner brings the cash. In this case, strategic messaging is critical to creating the "right" story so both get what they want: money AND position. In our world we try to keep as flexible and forward thinking as possible. The best way to make an alliance is to allow yourself to be creative. You'd be surprised what brands can make great partners.
Our agency often leverages Hollywood on behalf of our clients. Diamonds and gowns on the red carpet plus great press coverage can go a long way toward putting a brand on the map and keeping them there. Of course, to use this platform you have to work the "system" and let me tell you that can be no fun. In fact, on most days it can be the opposite of fun—what's that word? Work.
Hollywood is fickle, capricious and a downright moody lady. One day she loves you, the next she's totally forgotten your name. Just when you think you're in, you're out. A yes is most often a no, but you won't know that until it's too late.
Here are a few simple rules we've found helpful when navigating Hollywood's turbulent waters:
1) Never push, you look desperate. It's better to let something go than ruin your fragile reputation.
2) If it seems too good to be true it most certainly is, no exceptions...
3) Keep those relationships alive—graft works!
4) If they want what you have you'll know it because (drum roll) they want it! You'll see the difference when you're trying to pawn off something they don't want...
5) Everything takes a LOT longer than you think it will, so buckle up it's going to be long, bumpy ride...
Ok, just some thoughts, use them wisely!