The father of advertising hailed by the public, David Ogilvy once coined the phrase “the big idea” as noticeable, rememberable and could cause action. Most of PR and advertising practitioners do believe that being creative is an essential skill for them to become successful. Learning from the Duo PR Project assigned by Professor John Doorley in Theory, History and Practice of Public Relations course, I feel that having the big idea is sometimes the most crucial parameter to evaluate a communication campaign whether it is memorable and could possibly affect public opinion to save an individual or an organization from danger in terms of their reputation. However, according to some, it is also the most difficult part to cultivate a big idea in which one has to bury time, bravery, talent and imagination at the same time.
One of those eye opening cases that I learnt from PR conducts is the Pfizer, the parmaceatical company, once turning its back on their partner Nektar, when Nektar’s new drug Exubera just came out to the market. Pfizer was not willing to endorse Exubera and instead, they publicize a statement of why they ceased the investment in the new drug from Nektar. At the time when Nektar was facing the crisis of being abandoned by its partner and suffering from credibility loss of their new drug, as well as investment loss. All above are results of the whole betrayal. Then Nektar came up with a communication plan out of blue: blaming Pfizer and acting as a victim. All the news out there were against Pfizer and compassions were fallen onto Nektar as being a sincere company that is being contributive and caring about its customer. No one out of Nektar would have known that it is their strategy to come back which is amazingly affective on bringing in Pfizer’s responsive apology and compensation afterwards.
In the section of Duo Project, those who paid less attention on addressing the main big idea seems less compelling to me than those who did. The case of Lady Gaga is a pertinent illustration of the wizardry of “big ideas”. With some sort of defamation in her career and her mental status, her public relation team tried to zoom in her innate musical talent and amplify the good will out of her philanthropic contributions to society. As for me, an audience who had never taken a absolute stance on judging her, this strategy is definitely affective to drag me to “like her” zone. It gives me the chance to find my rediscovery to her as a “mentally healthy” woman who is so talented and so brave to break the cage of musical performance and successfully exemplify herself as a leading feminist.
However, the UAW case conducted a nice research and situation analysis, at the meantime generating a less thorough and direct plan for changing their situation. The emphasis is on pushing members to weigh in discussion and negotiation. The chosen audience was narrowed down to members and employees, which can be easily grasped by the PR team and possibly be more effective in a restrained time frame. Nonetheless, Chrysler is being undervalued on materialization as a bidding strategy by Fiat for buying the other half of Chrysler’s stocks at a bargain price. To fight back, Chrysler is pressed ahead with IPO plan. In my opinion, UAW in this case as a union representing most of Chryslers workers, is required to have a stronger motion which can cause a bided up price and put more pressure on their main buyer Fiat, as a follow-up strategy after IPO issue.
The study co-author and NowGoCreate founder Claire Bridges noted that “a creatively generated, positive conversation is so much harder to evaluate than the latest Christmas ad that the agency has spent all year working on and buys at peak time” (Sudhaman 2012) Again it is still the most difficult task for PR practitioners coming up creative ideas day in and day out when the plan is required to be both less expensive (than advertising) and affective. The evaluation part is the barrier for most and let alone that it sometimes seems to go against other departments of a corporation such as HR and Finance. However, it is worthy to pursue in PR industry since it also can brings us the most glorious award as being a life saver to your client at the right time. Just as the nature of PR: Doing good and getting credit for it.