Our second session, on February 23rd started with the presentation of two new (for us) and amazing people from Coopr, Thea and Jody. Well, Jody is not only a Coopr employee, he is actually the CEO of the company. Regarding this, I don’t know how you guys usually picture a CEO, but in case you think he/she is someone very authoritative, someone who gives orders to people and does not care about his/her employees, the typical “boss” so to speak, well that is definitely not Jody. Besides being an extremely easy going guy, he in fact really cares about his team of workers and is aware of the amazing people who are currently working for him. Definitely, he is a leader, but there is a huge difference between being a leader and being a boss and I think that this image really shows and expresses the difference. Being a leader means being able to guide people and foster change; it means being able to lead people to success. This is Jody and this is Coopr.
After their first short intro we got more into the Coopr model and we therefore started talking about insights with Thea. We focused on what they are and why we need them when developing a PR campaign. When doing so, it was interesting to notice that the main point about this was that the first thing we need to do before creating something is listening to people, to our future or current customer. In fact, how are we supposed to produce something without knowing what people really need or want, right? I found this approach and way of thinking very similar to what Tim Brown, CEO of IDEO, has defined as “Design thinking”. Basically, this concept explains that when creating a new product, a new business, a new campaign, companies need to start by listening to their environment, to people and later, based on the current unsatisfied needs or necessities, they should think of and create a new product. Hence, it seems that the real winner in the current business world is the company which is able to LISTEN. This is basically what insights is all about. Obviously, there are different ways of getting insights, namely by analysing both big and small data, by directly asking people what they need or what their experience with a certain product is and also by reading a lot and by being always informed on the news and new trends.
The second part of the class, instead, was held by Jody who first introduced us to the concept of strategy. Interestingly, it turned out that strategy is quite complicate to define, or better, strategy is a lot of different things. However, what also came out is that strategy is not really tactics, as one may think. In fact, if tactics is more about doing, strategy is more about thinking. If tactics is easier to copy and has a short time frame, strategy is difficult to copy and can be applied over time.
As I have already said, strategy may mean multiple things, but what is certain is that it is made of three major moments: 1) setting goals (defining the WHY); 2) determining actions to achieve those goals (defining the WHAT); 3) mobilizing resources to execute the actions (defining the HOW). Once you have these three points clear in your mind, you are certainly going to have a great plan and, most likely, successful results. The thing is that, IT IS EASIER SAID THAN DONE! A simple exercise we executed during our session was enough to show us that this is all but easy, however here is the point. Thinking about a new campaign, developing a strategy and all that is related with it is challenging. But this is why we are here for and this is why the world of PR is so exciting and attracting (at least for me! J). I love being challenged, I love tough tasks and I love to “squeeze” my brain to find the right solution. After all, as someone once said: “nobody said it would be easy, but it would definitely be worth it”.