Winning a Lion is, in the minds of most marketing communications professionals, the equivalent of winning an Oscar or a Grammy. Everyone wants to know: What does it take to win?
The smart use of data is an imperative for communications professionals today. With the growing access to data and the proliferation of tools to analyze, measure, and report results, you could argue that data is everything.
That was certainly one drumbeat heard at this year’s Cannes Lions Festival. Many of the presentations, award entries and vendor exhibits focused on the power of data to drive the creative process.
Then again, without the right people who know how to sift through data, synthesize it, draw insights from it, develop a communications strategy based on it, and monitor it to know when something’s working or not, data does you no good.
When is something truly creative? The question kept coming up as our jury deliberated over 1,800-plus entries. As you might imagine, the debate was robust.
Just a few years ago, I was spending my evenings during the weeks leading up to Cannes reviewing PR Lions entries online. I had the honor of serving on the 2014 PR Lions jury, and the creative question was top of mind for me even before I packed my bags. Once I arrived in Cannes, I found my fellow jury members – 21 professionals from 19 countries — were asking themselves the same thing. The topic found its way into our dinner conversation and daily jury sessions throughout the week.
One of the biggest pitfalls of being a publicist and marketing communications professional is not putting yourself in the shoes of editors. It’s easy to simply share a client’s announcement with media without thinking through what the real story behind it is, and hope that you’ll get a bite. As communications professionals, it’s our job to think one step ahead and be the champions of the message we’re sharing.