Tuesday, September 11, 2007

What sticks

There’s a new(ish) book on the market called What Sticks: Why Most Advertising Fails and How to Guarantee Yours Succeeds (by Rex Briggs and Greg Stuart).

I’ll admit it was the title of the book that caught my eye and not the subhead. Because after 12 years in the business, I’ve learned exactly what sticks. The answer is public relations.

Now, don’t get me wrong. There are a lot of catchy ad jingles and slogans (“Just do it!” and “I’m lovin’ it!” immediately come to mind) out there that definitely attach themselves to the sticky part of our brains.

But quite honesty, most of these jingles tend to affix themselves the way gum sticks to the bottom of an unsuspecting shoe; sure it’s sticky, but it’s also really annoying.

When it comes to making brands stick in a meaningful way, I’ve found it’s public relations that has the staying power to make a difference. When it’s done right, PR has superglue power to form long-lasting relationships with consumers, donors, employees, investors and the general public.

So a respectful note to authors Briggs and Stuarts: PR sticks, guys. You should give it a try.

1 comment:

Read, Red, Read said...

Thanks for making the distinction between advertising and PR very clear.
It reminded me of two vivid memories I have of my older brother. First, I remember sitting across from him every night at the dinner table. While shoving as much food in his face as he possibly could, he would talk to everyone at the table making sure I had the best view of his half chewed food.
I also remember the long, daily bus rides when we would just chat and stare out the window together.
Both memories stir up feelings for me;one, warm fuzzy feelings, the other nausea and annoyance.
While advertising slogans and jingles might be remembered, that doesn't necessarily make them effective. PR on the other hand, can create 'warm fuzzies' for the consumer if it is done right.