Joining Amy on PR Talk this week is the owner of Adam Ritchie Brand Direction and author of “Invention in PR,” Adam Ritchie. In this episode, he shares a different way to elevate the PR industry through the powers of creativity and imagination. No longer should PR pros just help during product promotion. Today, you will learn what steps to take to also have a say in product discovery.
The “Invention” Connection With PR
“Invention in PR” is a handbook created by Adam Ritchie — PR Talk Listeners can receive 20% off with this code: ASM07 — which shows readers how to apply a strategy that not only helps expedite information but also creates a product that’s already newsworthy. With this strategy, PR pros can earn their seat at the table by helping decision-makers create and tweak products. Not only does this process help with gaining ongoing news coverage, but more importantly, it builds foundational relationships by adding value.
Adam’s inspiration for his book dates back to when he accidentally came up with a new version of a classic American toy during his PR ideation phase for a client. Fast forward to 2007, when he opened his agency and came up with the idea to pair craft beer with music by putting albums on cans.
His approach to “Invention in PR” has Adam speaking at conferences and colleges, sharing how being a part of product creation can guarantee coverage and elevate the industry.
PR Perspectives Create Products That Resonate
As a decision-maker, you may already have a PR team that can assist with ideas for a new product or service. Much PR work starts the same — the client has something they would like to promote, and the PR department is tasked with getting the word out. But adding the PR team to the invention process gives the product a leg up. Outside perspectives that are in touch with culture, trends and audiences may result in more product sales or a more relatable story.
The invention process does take time and can come in many forms, but allowing your PR team to join the conversation could save you from making a tone-deaf mistake resulting in lost revenue and respect. Many brands have faced product crises and failures, so making room for your PR team in the ideation phase could even save and elevate the brand.
Using “Invention” To Elevate Products
If you’re uncertain about how to proceed with the “Invention in PR” mindset, let’s examine how Adam handled a huge problem his baby product client faced. When their biggest retailer, Babies R Us, went out of business, this client was saddled with an exorbitant amount of products to sell. After receiving an invitation to the decision-makers’ table, his team used their knowledge of current superhero trends to pitch them the “M.O.M. Squad” idea, in which each of their baby products would be represented by characters the PR team made up (mothers with superpowers). This became a huge hit with a timely launch on Mother’s Day.
It wouldn’t have been possible if Adam and his team didn’t involve themselves in the process of the product’s development. To anyone in the creative field, adding and elevating your work and credibility can begin with packaging and following through on your ideas. Anyone can have an idea, but the unique path is in making it happen.
Listen now to hear more PR invention examples and how a PR pro can go from product promotion to product creation. Also, PR Talk listeners can receive 20% off their purchase of Adam’s book, “Invention In PR,” with this code: ASM07
About the Guest: Adam Ritchie
Adam founded Adam Ritchie Brand Direction in 2007. His practice has attracted clients on four continents, spanning 20 categories, from treadmill desks to snack foods. Adam’s work explores the inventive and transformative qualities of PR, and has yielded the world’s first album on a beer can, a team of pregnant comic book superheroes and influencer-inspired product lines. He advocates for public relations to drive product development, and seeks to reshape perceptions and the practice of PR from its past as an organization’s mouthpiece to its future as an organization’s creative engine.
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This episode of PR Talk is brought to you by PRSA Oregon
Throughout Oregon and Southwest Washington, PRSA provides members with networking, mentorship, skill building and professional development opportunities – whether you are a new professional fresh out of college or a skilled expert with 20 years in the industry. Check out PRSAoregon.org for more information on how membership can help you grow and connect.