Guide Dogs for the Blind's head of comms and campaigns shares insights on what 2014 will bring to PR

PR Summit speaks to Louise Robertshaw, Head of Communications and Campaigns at The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association, to get their insight about the topic and get a feel for the event.

Guide Dogs for the Blind's head of comms and campaigns shares insights on what 2014 will bring to PR

How has the PR and comms function evolved over the last years?

The world has gone social crazy and with it there is a trend for dissatisfied customers to quickly generate a social movement which can bring down the reputations of brands; or can make your reputation with engaging content that goes viral. Engaging with audiences is now an instant and constant conversation which requires an immediate response.

In your opinion, what will 2014 bring to the PR profession?

It ain’t what you do it’s the way that you do it! Brands need to differentiate and stand out from the crowd in a multichannel environment. The most successful brands are not just focused on the bottom line; they are obsessed with their behaviour, their culture and the whole customer experience. We will see a rise in staff as reputation ambassadors – brands generating social movements through staff advocates.

If you had one recommendation for those looking to deliver an integrated comms strategy in 2014, what would it be?

Speak with one voice across all marketing communications channels. To get cut through you need clear and compelling messaging, as well as engaging content, that can be used across all offline and online channels.

What would your top three tips on engaging and interacting with your audience be?

  1. Know who you are: be clear about your brand and ensure that is brought to life through all communications.
  2. Get the basics right: it’s easy to get carried away with clever tactics. But don’t forget the basics, know your audiences and make it easy for them to take action.
  3. Make sure it is enjoyable – for you and for the people you are engaging with!

What session, other than your own, are you most looking forward to at PR Summit?

I never could resist the adrenaline rush of a good crisis, so the crisis stimulation has a definite appeal! But the multi channel strategies case study and round table is definitely pertinent to Guide Dogs at the moment so looking forward to picking up a few tips in that session.

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