More Than Anything, I Heard About “PR” at ad:tech

PAN Communications

The last time I was at ad:tech it was 2006 and The Rubicon Project was a startup. Less than 10 years later, that company has IPO’d and this week’s exhibitor floor is bustling with hundreds of new companies disrupting how we monetize, market, publish and measure advertising in the complex world of today’s CMO and agency partner.

What I love to hear is how important the PR department still is to all of these efforts. On today’s keynote stage, both executives from Showtime and Bravo/Oxygen Media reinforced how important breaking down silos were to their organizations and how departments like PR and social media are “roving teams” to help connect and push out news elements tied to major campaigns.

Showtime used their recent announcement of the Twin Peaks series coming back to the channel. The announcement was hinged upon a YouTube release of a video trailer, within 24 hours gaining more than one million views. But Ken Todd, VP of Digital Content Syndication for Showtime highlighted how the “news and messages” still have to get out. Tying together the press release with publishing and production times was essential to the success of the launch. The attention and awareness driving views, stemmed from the coverage.FullSizeRender

Ellen Stone, EVP of Marketing at Bravo further explained how their social media team use to sit in consumer marketing – in the recent year, they’ve pulled that group into it’s own, creating a centralized voice for Bravo but also increasing the way social media is integrated into all of the other marketing and advertising functions.

Yesterday’s keynote highlighted how mega brands like GE and Coke use dozens of agencies to experiment and execute campaigns, but the function of PR drives the initial awareness and unveiling. Our job is still instrumental and is the foundation for taking ideas and major marketing investments to market.

As the next year approaches, it’s our job to help champion this message and advise our day-to-day relationships at the client that access to the larger marketing discussions and agency collaborations is important. Campaigns created in a vacuum won’t have half the shelf life if they aren’t supporting by PR and social.

Toward the closing of the keynote, Maura Curtin, VP at SocialFlow said what every CMO needs to feel secure enough to realize and smart enough to do – “Listen to the data, not your intuition.”

Above all, what still stands out with each marketing and ad tech show I’ve been to this year, including even INBOUND, is how complex these marketing innovations are, almost too fast for any CMO to digest. Navigating the right tools and tricks is overwhelming and measurement doesn’t come easy to everyone. The agency partnerships are critical to the success of the CMO.

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