Summon Your Inner Superman or Wonder Woman
To Get Colossal Results From Your New Entertainment PR Firm:
A Four-Part Super Plan
Maybe you’ve just hired your first entertainment PR firm and you want to make sure you’re getting your money’s worth. Or you’ve had the same publicity team for a while and you’re looking to increase your ROI. Wherever you are on the PR time-space continuum, you’re about to morph into Super Client and begin leaping tall press releases in a single bound. Over the next four posts I’ll help you tap into your super-gifts and soon you’ll be the master of your own PR universe.
“In a world of ordinary mortals, you are a wonder woman.”
Connie Nielsen as Queen Hippolyta in Wonder Woman
Captain America’s Courage: He may not have flashy superpowers, but Captain America has what it takes: He’s fearless. Super Clients must be brave, too. It requires courage to hire an entertainment PR firm—naturally there are risks involved. There is a certain level of unpredictability that comes with working with the media; there are no guarantees that you’ll get what you want. But when you and your agency hit the target together, you’re practically invincible.
Chris Evans as Captain America in The Avengers: Age of Ulton
Iron Man’s Leadership: As the founding member of the Avengers and the CEO of Stark Industries, Iron Man successfully leads two kick-ass teams. His secret? He surrounds himself with talented people. The Hulk, Black Widow, Hawk-Eye, Pepper, Rhodey, Hogan—Iron Man has the best and the brightest working with him. A Super Client needs to assemble just such a team. When hiring an entertainment PR firm be sure to meet all the people who will be working on your account. Sometimes, a firm will introduce you to their top people during the presentation but then, once hired, relegate you to a junior staffer to handle your business. Avoid this by meeting all players in the beginning.
“Beneath this mask there is an idea. And ideas are bullet-proof.”
Hugo Weaving as V in V for Vendetta
Green Lantern’s Imagination: Green Lantern might have a magical ring with the power to materialize anything he can imagine, but he still needs creativity to dream up the idea in the first place. Super Clients know that everything starts with an idea, with imagination, and have learned how to channel their thinking in ingenious ways. Maybe they find a muse. Or keep an idea book. Or meditate—whatever it takes to get a fresh perspective on something. They also know that it’s important to inspire others, especially their PR people, and work hard to give them the motivation they need to think outside the box.
“Our ancestors called it magic but you call it science.
I come from a land where they are one and the same.”
Chris Hemsworth as Thor in Thor
Spock’s Mind-Melding Ability: Take a cue from Spock and learn how to effectively mind-meld with all kinds of different people. Start by hosting an in-depth brainstorm session where people can bond, gather information and let ideas fly. You might even want to consider holding one before hiring an entertainment PR firm to see if there is chemistry between you and the group. Offer to pay them for their time, of course, but make no further commitments until after the session. If you like what you see and hear, then be ready to move forward. If not, cut them loose. Brainstorms (which should also launch any new campaigns) work best when you follow these guidelines:
- Choose a comfortable, quiet setting with plenty of whiteboards and easels to capture ideas. Bring toys, such as Play-Doh and Etch-a-Sketches, which help release the creative juices. Provide plenty of caffeine and comfort foods to fuel the imagination.
- Use an experienced facilitator with excellent communication and concentration skills, as well as the ability to spark enthusiasm and creativity in people. This may or may not be you. If not, talk with your agency account rep to determine the best person to use at their firm.
- Have a specific purpose. Whether it’s something practical or completely blue-sky, have a clear-cut reason for the brainstorm and be sure to articulate it to the team.
- Supply background information beforehand. You want the group to be prepared so you don’t waste valuable time rehashing the basics.
- Engage in exercises that unleash inhibitions and encourage free-flow thinking. For example, give everyone an index card and tell them to write down an idea in three minutes. Then have the participants exchange cards with their neighbors and build upon the idea on their new card. Keep the card-exchange going for several cycles. This is called a “Round-Robin” and is a great way to get people to contribute without being influenced by others. For the “Headliner,” pass out a wide variety of different magazines with a blank piece of paper attached to the top. Ask everyone to write down a catchy cover line for that magazine for your company’s product or services. Switch magazines for three or four rounds. For more exercise examples, get a subscription to Mind Tools.com or buy one of these books on Amazon: “Quick Brainstorming Activities for Busy Managers” by Brian Cole Miller or “Big Book of Brainstorming Games” by Mary Scannell and Mike Mulvihill. Finally, consult your agency rep for more recommendations.
- Go for quantity versus quality. There are no bad ideas in a brainstorm session. You want to get as many raw thoughts as possible because you never know what might stick. Process and prioritize the ideas after the session.
“In time, you will help them accomplish wonders.”
Russell Crowe as Jor-El in Man of Steel
Stay tuned for next week’s episode from CurrentPR when we discuss four more Super Client Super Powers…