Last week I was lucky enough to be a jury member on the Asian Marketing Effectiveness Awards (AME). ‘Lucky’ and ‘judge’ on an award scheme are not usually two words I combine. Often these things are huge ‘time sucks’ and chores. This definitely took time but it was a great snap shot of some of the best work for brands in the region.

Take an hour and read some of the cases and watch the supporting videos and the creative work. It’s well worth it. For the PR industry in the region the news is less good. The standard of the PR only entries was noticeably lower than those from the ad and ‘integrated’agencies. Now this may well have been because this has traditionally been an ad agency award scheme and because the PR industry has it’s own schemes. Brand communications is only one part of what PR agencies do as well, and so for clients and agencies who see their main role as ‘the task formally known as PR’ this may not have been the main event.

However, brand PR is a huge opportunity for us in the region, and like it or not, this is the show where the big brand and marketing directors are watching and this is the one they want to win. So we need to get better. Some lessons, mostly old, but worth repeating if we want to up our success rate:

* Entry forms need to be well written and concise
* We need to do much more to prove results
* All the big ad agencies provide supporting videos. This is less
expensive than it used to be and we must start showcasing our work
better this way
* You have got to be ‘in to win’. There just were not that many
entries from PR agencies and in-house teams. Some of the best PR
entries were from advertising and ‘integrated’ groups. Inevitably
this meant PR was still seen in a supporting only role, but until
we enter better work in a better way, that is how the marketing
big wigs will continue to see it.
* This is not an Asian Pacific only problem. Cannes provides the
same challenge globally for the PR industry.