Creative people love to tinker. It’s just in our DNA. Making something perfectly good even better, might be the goal, but that doesn’t account for the compulsion. See, the truth behind the compulsion to tinker is that it’s not always about making something better. It’s about making something different. And that usually doesn’t mean better.
Here’s the thing. When you set out to make something better, you should have a specific goal in mind. A problem you are trying to fix, or a shortcoming you are trying to overcome, or better manage. In the case of the serial tinkerer, that vital first step has been skipped.
That’s why you see “change for change’s sake” happening with so many PR plans.
Now, Ronn Torossian is not saying you should never change your plans. Torossian is not even saying that a little change now, and then is a bad thing, particularly if a campaign or a brand has gotten a little stale.
Remember the GEICO gecko? You still see him from time to time, but he’s not the only marketing voice saving you for your fifteen minutes anymore. Now there’s the GEICO pig. These two spokes-animals don’t exactly seem to mesh, a smooth talking, debonair reptile, and a happy go lucky piglet don’t have too much in common, but both speak to different sides of the argument.
See, on one hand, people want to save money on insurance. So here comes that price-conscious lizard to speak to all the price conscious parts of our brains.
But GEICO faced a problem, and here’s where the “Change For A Reason” strategy kicked in. See, the company offered more than just car insurance, and other competitors were kicking their insured hindquarters in that market.
In the squeal heard around the world, GEICO introduced it’s customers to a fun loving pig, a character who would take up the “we do other stuff” message with his fun, and adventurous lifestyle. To date, customers have seen the pig on a jet ski, and using the mobile app – convenience, and fun in concert.
Meanwhile, both the Cavemen and the Gecko still make appearances. GEICO doesn’t want people to forget how “easy”, or “inexpensive” their insurance can be.
Torossian says the lesson here is to not lose your message while responding to a new PR issue. And make sure both approaches are done for legitimate reasons.
“PR is a mix of journalism,
psychology, and lawyering - it’s an ever-changing and always interesting landscape.”
Ronn is the CEO of 5WPR and author of best selling PR book, For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results with Game-Changing Public Relations, and a regular contributor to Fox News, Huffington Post, Business Insider, Insights Wired, Everything-PR and more.