Pollock Communications helped promote recent findings on the health benefits of tea at the Fifth International Scientific Symposium on Tea and Human Health in Washington, D.C. USA Today covered the research in the article, “Drinking Tea May Help Prevent Chronic Illnesses.” Click here to read the full article.
Archives for September 2012
Our last blog post examined how to read and decipher a request for proposal (RFP) from a company or brand, so that you can provide ideas that are on target and within budget. Once you feel confident about what the RFP says, the next step is to translate that understanding into a cohesive plan that will knock their socks off.
As busy as we all are in agency life, it’s vital to anoint a team leader to guide the process from the RFP to the final presentation. Especially as things are often done remotely and via conference call, it’s up to the leader to “translate” the RFP and lead the upfront strategy development, so that the team is aligned. And, as tempting as it is to fall in love with a great theme or creative platform, always figure out the strategy first.
It’s important and productive to get the best thinking from a range of agency sources. Not many agencies these days have the luxury of new business teams who work solely on pitches. So it’s a good thing to be inclusive and get the best thinking from a number of account teams, support staff and others. Just make sure they’ve read the RFP and the team leader has briefed them about the agency POV on the strategy and program development process.
Be open to all ideas, because even the most ridiculous ones can help spark creativity. The team leader can later weed through those that aren’t on strategy or can’t be executed, to pull out the winning ideas.
There’s little more exciting in our business than receiving a request for proposal (RFP) from a company or brand you’ve always wanted to work with. It gets the adrenaline going and the creative juices flowing…sometimes even before you’ve finished reading the whole brief. Often, your own experiences and mindset prejudice you, and cause you to make snap judgments before you’ve read the full RFP document. And not just read it but read it. While even the most seasoned PR pros know there is no magic formula nor silver bullet to deciphering the RFP and winning the business…it’s important to train your mind to focus on what the brief really says…to read between the lines.
At Pollock, we strive to approach each new RFP and potential client with an open mind and clean slate. It’s a tightrope walk to balance what the client says it wants and what you, in your infinite wisdom, know is best for the brand. In the planning process, always ask for at least one Q&A session, the first one after you’ve done some initial research and brainstorming. Use that time to test the waters. Soft-sound a strategy or an idea and listen to hear if the client hasn’t tried that approach before because of fear or because it’s off target. Even if you’re on a group call with other agencies, don’t’ be afraid to tip your hand about a creative idea to determine if it’s worth pursuing. Even the most ferocious agency competitors can’t steal an idea once you’ve brought it up to the client.
Sometimes you can’t win for losing. The client might say to offer up your most creative, blue sky thinking but, what they really need is a plan that will actually work for $100k. Do you give them a core plan up front and save the best for last? Or, do you throw caution to the wind, convinced that they’ll surely borrow money from R&D when they see your brilliant ideas? Find a way to give them what can realistically be done, but to tease with more. Maybe it’s a pilot program, a test market, a regional survey, or something else that’s scalable and still meets their business and marketing objectives.
Of course, you can do it all right and still get it wrong. That’s part of the fun and the challenge of new business. But, remember, each new RFP gives you a new chance at success.
An oversized prescription drug bottle stopped people in their tracks at Penn Station, today, as Pollock Communications, on behalf of its Purdue client, educated consumers about the potential constipation problems of prescription drugs, and offered Senokot as the solution. The event is part of an integrated creative campaign, including advertising, public relations and social media, to promote the benefits of Senokot laxatives.
Marcie Klein, SVP at Pollock Communications, is quoted in today’s Media & Advertising section of The New York Times. The article, “In a Forthright Campaign, More Unmentionables Mentioned” by Stuart Elliott, cites Pollock Communications for its part in an integrated creative campaign on behalf of its client Purdue, for the Senokot brand. Click here to read the full article.