Innovative Approaches To Public Relations
Two companies that are practicing modern/innovative approaches to public relations are A.S. Watson Group and The Infant And Toddler Forum (ITF).
A.S. WATSON GROUP - GIVE A SMILE CAMPAIGN
- It was the 2019 Gold Stevie Award winner for "Innovation in Community Relations or Public Service Communications."
- Also, it won the 2019 Silver PR Awards Asia for "Best Use of VR/AR. "
- The challenge/objective was to enhance public awareness, stimulate public empathy for cleft lip and palate patients, and accumulate funds for them.
- This is the first signature CSR campaign of AS Watson.
INNOVATIVE/MODERN PR STRATEGIES
- The highlight of this campaign was the use of Augmented Reality (AR) Smile Changer through social media where users are given the chance to feel what it is like to live with a cleft lip. The budget for the AR technology is $200,000.
- AI Smile Meter allows the audience/users to share a picture of them smiling and be rated via a facial-recognition artificial intelligence system.
- Watson also collaborated with Tencent for an interactive game in WeChat where users can "swipe the rabbit (cleft) away" to get equal donations from third parties.
- The launch was successfully integrated and the donation generated more than HKD4 million, and the PR value amounted to over HKD8.5 million.
- The PR ROI was around 1,317%.
- In-kind donations amounted to HK8 million worth of goods, allowing Operation Smile to resell and obtain additional funding.
- The KOL reach was estimated at 123 million, while the campaign was promoted by many celebrities.
- Meanwhile, the campaign's engagement reached over 11 million.
- The engagement rate was 10%.
THE INFANT AND TODDLER FORUM (ITF): THE THINK TODDLER SIZED CHALLENGE
- It was granted the 2018 Gold Stevie Award for "PR Innovation of the Year."
- The Think Toddler Sized Challenge was a recipient of the Best of 2018 of EU PR Excellence Award.
- They were able to create a co-creation platform by utilizing avant-garde gamification characteristics and idea generation. This was new to the organization and customer, and it was one of the very first co-creation initiatives targeted towards parents in the United Kingdom with toddlers.
- The challenge/objective was to raise the awareness of the need for parents with children aged 1-4 to "Think Toddler Sized" at mealtimes and challenge them to make use of the ITF guidelines and create something that is easy for all parents to follow for each meal.
INNOVATIVE/MODERN PR STRATEGIES
- The primary innovation for this campaign is the implementation of gamification for continuous engagement. Also, a £1,000 reward was provided for the winning concept.
- A one-click sign-up platform was developed with social media where parents were permitted to present a short concept initially and add detail later on. Parents could also upload photos to support their creativity.
- They asked parenting bloggers to contribute and to send their supporters invitations to participate. Moreover, "partner support (including Netmums and Tesco Baby Club) increased credibility and opened channels and communities for communication. Organic and paid social media have also been used (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest)."
- The campaign produced 51,867 platform visits via organic and paid social media activity, as well as partner efforts.
- A total of fifteen blog coverages, 94 mainstream coverages, and seven parenting publications were produced. The total reach was estimated at 144.3 million.
- The platform visits surpassed the target at 107%.
- There were 7,062 parents, or about 13.6% of all visitors, actively engaging on the platform, which was more than 182% over the original target.
- A total of 96 ideas were produced, which was reportedly 285% over target.
- A sensible and commercially feasible concept was identified, along with two separate runner-up concepts.
To determine the companies practicing modern/innovative approaches to public relations, we searched for award-winners in PR innovations. We found the Stevie Awards gold winners for 2018 and 2019 in PR Innovation. We also searched further for these campaigns and found out that they have received other awards from other award-giving bodies. From their approaches, we selected those that are not common, such as the use of augmented reality and the facial recognition artificial intelligence system for the "Give a Smile" campaign. The implementation of games for continuous parents' engagement is the innovative strategy of ITF which is the first co-creation initiative directed to UK parents. The case studies provide success metrics for each campaign.