Ogilvy’s PR & Influence Global Leader, Stuart Smith, spoke with Dustee Jenkins, Spotify's Head of Global Communications and Public Relations and Lisa Jedan, Bacardi's Global Head of Brand PR and Corporate Communications, about the demand for integration as part of a panel event at Cannes Lions 2018.

Moderated by The Holmes Report’s Arun Sudhaman, the conversation covered relationships between Marketing and PR, media spend and the cause of this demand for integration.

Exploring the source of this demand for integration and what it means for brands and businesses

“Clients need to open up to the fact that an idea can come from anywhere” said Lisa. The modern agency produces ads, PR and much more – this is the reality we are currently living with.  For Lisa and Bacardi, the value of integration is being able to hit multiple touchpoints all at once.

Meanwhile, at Spotify Dustee explains the business operates with Marketing and PR as integrated teams. It is this removal of silos which has allowed all areas of the company to blend – which is a good thing.

For Ogilvy, Stuart explained how having only practiced PR in a PR-only environment, he enjoyed Ogilvy’s recent shift under one P&L, where he became surrounded by incredible creative talent, rather than PRs alone. For Stuart, this not only made for interesting conversations but better integration created better work.

On media spend and integration

Spotify was built on earned media explained Dustee. “It wasn’t about buying our way to success”. Yet Spotify is the world’s largest music streaming service and a lot of that is talk value. Spotify urge brands to recognize the value of earned media. CMOs today have to get that right.

However, for Stuart, PR shouldn’t be seen solely as a way to save some cash. “We should be talking about PR as a value creator, rather than a money saver” as this will impact the way clients view the discipline. Furthermore, Lisa argued for the need to educate marketing leaders on the power of PR as a powerful tool. “PR needs to do better PR for itself” she says.

Big, impactful ideas are still king 

Stuart argued for the power of great ideas. For him PR should absolutely be idea-centric - "PR should be about ideas that earn value" he believes.

Adding to this, Lisa argued that integration works bet when it starts with the idea. For Bacardi, “integration works best when there is a big idea that everyone gets behind and works together to achieve”.

 

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There's more from Cannes Lions as we catch up with Ogilvy UK's Kevin Chesters following his panel discussion on YouTube and storytelling here.

Also get the low down on Thandie Newton talking diversity at Cannes Lions here.