Smith Public Relations has always advocated for bringing together the best minds in a company and its agencies when developing a strategic communications program. In too many instances, our area of specialty and, indeed, others in the communications realm act in a silo or are only provided brief glimpses of what the other marketers are undertaking. To us, there is no substitute for getting all the brains together to plan campaigns jointly without the concerns about the origins of ideas or the “threat” of budget reallocation.

We had one major client who insisted that we all converge prior to any proposed campaign whether all resources were planned for the outreach or not. The goal wasn’t to blur the lines of responsibility but to engage vested resources regardless of their area(s) of expertise. The upshot is that a great ad idea can come from the SEO specialist; a critical viral concept can come from the direct marketing firm and so on. Idea sharing at the front end of planning should be seen as an invaluable asset to drive the strategic and creative process. Being in a vacuum doesn’t often lead to breakthrough campaigns.

The overall premise is that dominant, successful campaigns can originate in a number of environments where relevant experience and brainpower is transferable and needs to be encouraged by the client.

A global sports and leisure footwear company, had developed an innovative boating shoe that more efficiently and effectively dispersed water from the soles of its shoes than its better known and funded competition. Our firm’s concept was to focus from the “bottom up” showing only the sole of the shoe and one from the category leader side-by-side. Shot from underneath through plexiglass, the unretouched photo clearly showed the superior dispersement of water of our client’s product, which was confirmed by an independent research firm. The execution was adapted for demos at yacht clubs, marinas/docks and at trade shows.

All of the marketing partners jumped in to tweak, revise and enhance the concept which went on to become the national ad campaign.

The end result: sales increased by double digits for the next two years and distribution was achieved in three additional national chains.