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Lipstick is not the solution

I have been waiting for 10 YEARS for an article that accurately depicts integrated communications (thank Brian) and why it is the ONLY way agencies should function.

This past week, I read this article on PR Daily that addressed integrated communications and categorized agencies in 3 categories: Traditional, Integrated and Lipstick.

The below diagram from the PR Daily article outlines what those terms mean.

Photo credit: Brian Hart, PR Daily

More and more, agencies are promoting the fact that they can provide the full range of services that companies are looking for, but it isn’t just the services it is the strategy and measurement behind them.

I started 834, almost 10 years ago because I couldn’t hire an agency that could provide the wide range of services, strategy and measurement that my organization needed. When all else fails, do it yourself.

An integrated communications approach takes all disciplines – creative, digital, public relations, advertising, marketing and meshes them all together to deliver your desired results. Everything works together to form a cohesive strategy that outlines goals, measurement and ultimate results for you, the business owner.

Still struggling to understand? I stole the below info from a blog I wrote back in January 2015.

All disciplines support each other. For example, you launch a recruitment campaign:

  1. Design/Creative: Develop collateral for social, website, print and advertising. Coordinate efforts with all disciplines
  2. Advertising: Review audiences, determine media buys – segmented by target audiences.
  3. Marketing: Outline strategy to get the message out, plan special events throughout target area, work with creative and PR to outline messaging.
  4. Public relations: Develop a press release on campaign, recruiting events, company growth. Plan out storylines throughout the length of the campaign.
  5. Social: Work with PR to outline messaging for all networks, work with creative to develop images and infographics to be shared.
  6. Digital: Set up online ads, create a landing page specific to recruitment that all advertising and campaign efforts will direct to.
  7. Implement and measure

Drop the old-timer, put down the lipstick and hire an agency, demand an agency, that will provide the strategy and implementation that you need. Also, shit takes time, so don’t expect magic in 3 months.



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Hi, I'm Kim!
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