24 Feb THE JOYS & CHALLENGES OF VARIETY IN PR
WHAT’S AN AVERAGE DAY LIKE IN THE PILKINGTON COMMUNICATIONS OFFICE? WELL, WE GENUINELY COULDN’T TELL YOU.
We’re very lucky to work in a vibrant industry with a range of clients which means that no two days are ever the same.
The variety is a joy, and we get a real buzz from the challenges too – managing different client goals and learning about various sectors so that our PR activities relate to what our clients need. It’s interesting and we are definitely kept on our toes, just the way we like it.
Our work with one charity recently has highlighted how we must always be prepared to adapt.
Beginning an emotive and inspiring project
We were asked by Northamptonshire-based Teamwork Trust to work on an eight-page brochure driven almost entirely by the charity’s service-users – adults with learning and physical disabilities and mental health needs.
With our input, service-users would be responsible for coming up with ideas about how it should be worded, how it should look and feel and even a plan for the distribution too. It was a totally different approach for us, but the involvement of the service-users was crucial because their stories and experiences really highlight what the charity is all about.
If we were going to pull this project off, we needed to gain their trust from the beginning.
Gathering the content – the human-interest element
We had lots of meetings to help them learn basic PR terminology and understand why we were embarking on this project – which was to promote Teamwork Trust day services to others who might like to join.
Comments from service-users was to be the main focus, but we needed bright imagery too. Members being active, carrying out their work tasks and learning – no one was short on ideas for pictures because Teamwork always has so much going on. One of the reasons why the photoshoot was huge fun.
You can never second guess what people are going to say, and it was the unexpected comments that helped us formulate the layout – again with input from the service-users.
Here are some of our favourites:
“We have the freedom to make our own drinks”
“I have been awarded certificates which makes me feel very happy”
“I am so proud of the things we do at Teamwork”
Bringing other experts on board
The variety of our client base spreads over to our suppliers too, and we get to work with some really talented specialists. On this project it was local photographer, Kirsty Edmunds, and Kettering-based designers, Poppy Design Studio, and they too understood the importance of service-user input.
We are still working with the team to distribute the brochure – they have been tasked with coming up with a ‘wish list’ of target locations and audiences and we are helping to gently steer them in the right direction.
What we can say is that everyone is over the moon with the final design and print, including us.
Kim Hughes, Head of PR