November 8, 2016 -- With a Presidential election that included October surprises, November shockers and everything in between, getting a brand’s content into the national news cycle has never been tougher. Conventional wisdom shows the typical path to public relations success is working until the bitter end to try and break through the election noise, but one of the nation’s leading PR firms created a viral video to demonstrate that the industry has it all wrong.
PR and content agency MediaSource used the Mannequin Challenge, the new viral video trend that’s sweeping the nation, to send a message to the PR industry -- to be quiet this week. This advice runs contrary to the common role of a PR pro on any given day.
If you haven’t heard about the #MannequinChallenge, it’s the latest video craze where everyone in the shot must freeze and be still, with only the camera moving. It started last week at a high school and has quickly spread to include college and national sports teams.
“The message to PR pros is to pause, stop trying to shout messages over the election noise and instead focus on planning and strategy,” said MediaSource’s President Lisa Arledge Powell, who worked with the firm’s in-house content production team to create the concept for the video.
MediaSource’s publicists, who work with national journalists on a daily basis, are portrayed as PR mannequins who are stopped in their tracks working on strategy and planning. The firm’s content creators also appear as mannequins shown planning long term editorial calendars and hitting the pause button on immediate content distribution.
“As PR professionals in the 24/7, always-on news cycle that we are a part of today, it doesn’t ever feel natural to stop,” said Arledge Powell. “But we need to stop and be strategic, especially during a heavy news cycle. Unless your brand is tied to topics in the news, don’t try to compete right now. Instead, your time is better spent planning ahead so when the noise is over you can rejoin the conversation louder than ever.”
The Mannequin Challenge video, including a special behind-the-scenes version, was produced by the Emmy Award-winning MediaSource content production team including Director of Photography Jerred Zeigler and Director Robert Leitch. The video was shot inside the company’s multi-level Columbus, Ohio headquarters, which includes a full video multimedia production studio.