By Renee Wilson, president, PR Council; co-chair of ICCO Global Awards jury

Another awards program? Oh my…….but wait! – here is a chance to get some deserved recognition for your team’s stellar work, while helping educate the global marketing communications community on the power of public relations.

Our industry is going through somewhat of an identity crisis redefining who we are, and what we do, at an incredible pace.  There are many types of different discipline agencies that claim to know how to ‘earn influence’ or ‘earn media’ in a way that public relations can, with credibility and relevance.  However, our discipline is truly an art and a science, and operates in some similar ways but in a lot of unique ways too.

The ICCO Global Awards is a great opportunity for our industry to showcase the way in which public relations campaigns achieve real results, through powerful outcomes.  It is the measurement of changes in attitudes, opinions, and behavior (eg,votes, shares, sales etc.) that truly helps underscore the effectiveness of our campaigns, and what the ICCO Global Awards are all about.

The Cannes Lions Festival and Awards is very much rooted in creativity, and we love it for that, while the ICCO Global Awards punctuates the campaign “effectiveness.” That’s not to say that you don’t need a creative entry to win the ICCO Global Awards too, but proving how you help achieve your clients’ objectives with something measureable and tangible, not just opinion, is where your focus should be when entering for an ICCO Global Award.

Additionally, could this be the year we come up with the best collection of global campaign entries that demonstrate the powerful effectiveness that public relations offers?  I think it could.  Let’s challenge ourselves and our industry to do it!  Then, let’s use these ICCO Global Award winning campaign entries as calling cards to clients all over the world to better demonstrate what our discipline is capable of when it comes to effectiveness.

In my role as president of the PR Council, I talk to many leaders from CMOs and marketing clients, to communication directors, about the power of PR.  In order for them to continue to prioritize PR within their organizations with supporting resource, and in some cases, start to prioritize, we need to do a better job of explaining our effectiveness.  It’s that simple.  And, it’s that complex.

If you listen to the trade media that cover our industry and the industry pundits, some feel that we are moving too slowly in doing this.  The observation – (whether you agree or not) – is perhaps we are not retooling as quickly as other disciplines in terms of our talent, infrastructure and campaign thinking.  Let’s prove them wrong!  Let’s show the remarkable work our teams produce.  Let’s enter the ICCO Global Awards and use these entries as our industry calling cards.