We’re having a collective digital “cheers” to the 2019 Bespoke Communications Awards winners! Yet again the BCAs graced us with some truly amazing submissions in every category. To be considered for the campaign and placement spotlight awards, PR agencies across the nation sent in their most successful and innovative campaigns from the previous year. We checked in with bi-coastal BCENE, winners of the PR Campaign of the Year, to learn a bit more about what’s on this award-winning agencies radar right now.
How does it feel to win? How will your team celebrate?
After leaving big agency life in 2017, I started BCENE PR with the hope of “using my powers for good” in helping the brands I love the most – a bonus if we (*maybe*) got to pay the mortgage those first few months of freelancer life. Fast forward two years later, I’m pitching in my PJs with another cup of coffee going cold on my desk when I open the announcement that we won “PR Campaign of the Year.” I called my colleague, Katherine, and just about fell out of my chair.
This wasn’t just a win for me, the client or BCENE. This was a win for the incredible ladies and gents in our corner: the partners and other female founders who trusted us to tell their story, the mentors that championed us along the way and the family + friends that carried us through the doubts, fears, late nights and long weekends spent working. We still feel insanely honored and humbled to do what we do. As I head back to DC this fall, we’re going to celebrate properly with some serious ‘za!
What is your team most excited about right now?
We’re noticing a seismic shift this year with publicists “feeding content marketing machine” to becoming bonafide content partners for both clients and publications. While the press release isn’t dead (yet!), it’s now taken a back seat to engaging, educational and insightful contributed content.
For example, we had a client recently launch a couple of new home collections. The latest collections might have been “new news” to some, but the thought process behind the home design, attention to detail in decor and cross-over from retail /fashion were incredibly fascinating as an industry outsider. Instead of pushing out a quick-fix press release, we took a deep dive in downloading details from the client, developing an educational thought leadership piece and ultimately placing the story as an exclusive feature in a top tier regional glossy.
It was a win-win for everyone as the editor was uber hungry for home & design content and the client landed a full-length feature. Publicity is no longer who can “shout the loudest” and push out the most press releases, but who can deliver the most value –– and we’re absolutely Here. For. It.
What does a “PR campaign”mean to you in our digital age?
Earned media is what many traditionally think of as “PR,” though in truth, a successful public relations campaign in the digital age is often the combination of paid, earned and owned media merged to generate relevant content, extend awareness and procure maximum coverage and exposure to target audiences. At BCENE, we define a PR campaign as a series of strategies with supporting tactics that ladder up to a broader marketing goal within a set timeframe. Goals are the final desired outcome of a campaign and with well-defined key performance indicators (KPI’s) we can measure and report on how our performance achieves the end goal(s).
This wasn’t just a win for me, the client or BCENE. This was a win for the incredible ladies and gents in our corner: the partners and other female founders who trusted us to tell their story, the mentors that championed us along the way and the family + friends that carried us through the doubts, fears, late nights and long weekends spent working.
How does your team plan to tackle the rest of 2019?
Katherine and I were joking today that the better half of this year has been nothing short of organized chaos. We’re a young company and in the midst of scaling our portfolio, processes and technology. It hasn’t always been pretty and it’s far from perfect, but we’ve learned to ride the highs and hang on tight as the lows will pass.
For the remainder of 2019, our team is taking it one day at a time and doing what we do best: devoting our time, talent and energy to creating bespoke communications campaigns for our clients, cultivating truly authentic media and influencer relationships and capturing beautifully branded content.
What we can expect from PR specialists in the near future?
We’re nerding out over the future advancement of PR reporting and measurement tools, which will give PR agencies, experts and practitioners a seat at the ROI table (hallelujah!). While impressions, clicks and coverage views are incredibly valuable within context, demonstrating a return on investment for PR will become easier, if not absolutely necessary, with the help of referral links, affiliate marketing platforms and upgrades in reporting technology. Can we get an “Amen” for that?!
We say absolutely! Congrats to BCENE.