Az influencer marketing, a pull marketing és az élő közvetítés a három meghatározó trend Németországban, míg Japánban a marketing és a pr közötti határ folyamatos elmosódása, a saját média, valamint a millenniumi nemzedék elérésének fontosabbá válása számít vezető trendnek – derül ki a PR Herald körkérdéséből.
Öt kérdést intéztünk egy-egy német, amerikai, japán és ausztrál pr-ügynökségnek, hogy felmérjük az azonos és a különböző trendeket a világ négy pontján. Németországból a Big Bang & Whisper-t szemeltük ki – mint az egyik kiemelkedő német ügynökség –, Japánból a The Holmes Report idei ranglistájának egyetlen japán pr-ügynökségi szereplőjét, a Dentsu Public Relationst. Máig sajnos egyetlen amerikai és ausztrál ügynökség sem válaszolta meg e-mailben feltett kérdéseinket, pedig többször is elküldtük három-három cégnek.
A Big Bang & Whisper-től Sebastian Hesse alapító, a Dentsu-tól pedig Kyoko Fujii supervisor válaszolt.
– What are the 3 most determinate PR trends in your country?
Sebastian Hesse: Firstly, the influencer marketing: as the media landscape is changing and social media gets increasingly important for consumers, influencers like YouTube stars but also bloggers with high acceptance and influence get important for PR as well.
Secondly, the pull marketing: sending a press release is old school, creating a newsroom and providing interesting content that journalists can find and work with is the way to go. Therefore also content marketing is continuously interesting as a PR tool.
Thirdly, the livestreaming: applications like Periscope allow us to quickly communicate events and let consumers participate. Especially for Brand PR Livestreaming is a growing PR trend.
Kyoko Fujii: Firstly: the definition of “public relations” is increasingly expanding and the boundaries between PR, advertising, digital and other marketing disciplines are becoming blurred.
Secondly: as owned media becomes a more and more important platform in engaging the online audience, content has become a key element of PR in Japan. In creating content that builds an emotional connection with the target audience the story is crucial. And in amplifying the brand message on social media, visual storytelling especially is a critical and powerful tool.
Thirdly: like elsewhere, millennials are the largest and most influential generation in Japan. So we need to know which are the relevant channels to reach them and what is the relevant message that will change their minds and behaviors. They consume information through social news sites and social media on their smartphones. Gamification is also one key element to engage them as they grow up with online games.
– What trends do you perceive in the traditional media? Is it an often used tool yet?
Sebastian Hesse: I think the biggest trend there is a change in the use of press releases in the communication. Especially in daily media, we as PR consultants can no longer overwhelm journalists with our messages but should handpick wisely and selectively useful multiplicators, engage with them in an exchange of thoughts and ideas and provide relevant content. I think one trend for traditional media is the focus on “better“ content, going away from “fast“ content.
Kyoko Fujii: As in other countries, circulation of print media is decreasing, while online versions of mainstream print media are gaining readership.
Numbers of radio listeners, which were decreasing in Japan, are now regaining some ground since an internet radio application was introduced and became popular among young Japanese who are enjoying radio programs on their smartphones. According to a Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communication white paper, the time spent per person on listening to radio programs is slightly increasing.
As for TV, even though the amount of time spent watching TV per person in Japan is slightly decreasing in recent years, TV is still a powerful and influential media in Japan.
Even though Japanese habits around consuming information are shifting from paper and screen to mobile devices, the role of traditional media as content provider is still important. News published by online versions of nationwide newspapers is often posted on major portal sites such as YAHOO! Japan and then shared through social media sites before going viral. In this environment, where media are intricately interconnected, the role of traditional media as credible information providers is still important and they are key communication target for PR practitioners to deliver and amplify their clients’ message.
– How do you define the “thought leadership” phrase considering your practice?
Sebastian Hesse: As founder of Big Bang & Whisper it is my goal to help my clients understand the tremendous changes in the media landscape and the challenges that go along with that. Most importantly, I think the future of PR is not the sales of existing „practice groups“ and their standard tools but the tailored setup of project based expert teams that lead to mindful, creative solutions and their successful implementation. Thought leadership to me means that I am responsible as sparring partner for my client, communicating with him on eye level and giving more guidance than promises.
Kyoko Fujii: My understanding of thought leadership is that it is the ability of a person or a company to pioneer new and innovative ideas related to their industries or businesses. It sometimes influences government policy, leads consumers to engage with brands, and can help attract the best employees to companies. Brand journalism developed on owned platforms has a pivotal role in building thought leadership.
– There is an important – but presumed – result of European Communication Monitor 2015 research: 85.6 per cent of respondents in this study believe that there is an overall need to integrate communication activities which affect all functions. Nowadays rather integrated communication agencies are establishing in your country, or specialized ones?
Sebastian Hesse: My impression is that there are more new integrated communication agencies these days than specialized firms.
Kyoko Fujii: In Japan, there are comprehensive PR service providers, like us, and boutique agencies that focus on certain industry sectors or certain PR practices.
In a wider industry perspective, some advertising agencies and non-PR agencies have a PR function within organizations while some PR agencies have advertising or non-PR marketing functions within organizations.
In Japan, traditionally, it is quite common to see open collaborations where agencies from different marketing disciplines work together for big campaigns.
– What is your experience about the PR professionals participating in the preparing of business strategy of a firm? Rather taking part or not? (According to a Hungarian research: 40 per cent of internal respondents don’t participate.)
Sebastian Hesse: I realize that many clients involve PR agencies at a stage that is way too late. While advertising focuses more on product features, public relations always focused slightly more on the brand itself and the reputation of the company. Especially startups focus very much on their product development and when they are done and involve a PR agencies it is always interesting to see their faces when you ask „WHY?“ did you do this? WHY did you start your company? WHY do you want to create this product? WHY do you think people need YOU? In my opinion PR consultants should be involved at an early stage of the business strategy development.
Kyoko Fujii: We at Dentsu PR support clients’ business management from a PR perspective. We conduct surveys on the business environment of our clients and analyze them to build business strategies, and support medium-term management plans.