To recap, this is where marketing communications has got to...
Interruption marketing (stop right there for 30 seconds while I hit you with this message even if this message is totally irrelevant to you) is dead.
Your brand and reputation is defined by everyone's experiences with your organisation and their compulsion to share those experiences with others.
You simply have no choice, you have to converse. Dialogue is where it's at. If you're into monologue, then it really is the same thing as staying at home and still thinking you'll get the girl.
So I thought I'd focus here on how to present your conversation starter rather than the content per se.
Multimedia engagement is one of the most compelling and interesting ways to start a conversation about something interesting. Just think what's grabbed your attention online recently. The 30-second TV ad may be as relevant today as monetary policy, but the 300-second roll on the Web is perfect for the niche audience out there with whom you really want to engage and who really wants to know more about what you've got.
So what kind of multimedia are we talking? How can we spark the conversation by communicating the really interesting thing we have to say in an interesting way? There's no formula (that I know of!), but here's a couple of my favourites to stimulate your "PR 2.0" synapses, one film and one animation. I'll follow up this post some time soon with my favourite interactive-game-with-a-point-to-make and call-to-action-social-microsite.
Unfortunately, neither of these examples here direct you to the conversation (other than company name / URL). Imagine however starting a conversation this way, hosting it and then keeping the fire lit.
Here is a film about advertising. (So that's an interesting choice for a PR consultant.)
First off, it assumes you're only watching it because you want to, so doesn't stick to any specific duration, but at the same time keeps the pace up so keeping you 100% glued. It also fits the bill here in giving you other ideas for how to kickstart that conversation.
It's a conversation starter for sure... and you are going to have to play it more than once or keeping hitting that pause button.
From Studio aka, a BAFTA-winning animation production company that can do no wrong in my humble opinion, even if serving clients' perceived needs for half-a-minute or so of prime time advertising is their bread and butter.
Imagine however that your company has a vision, a unique perspective on life with which to explode convention. Now imagine presenting it as beautifully as this. How could your intended conversationalists refuse?
(Click here for Studio aka's semiotically outstanding communication of BUPA's reason for being. It's a shame however that BUPA doesn't fully appreciate the benefits of social media and prepare the ads for social syndication.)