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Prism Awards Special Section

#PRaisethePR: Nicky James on Prism Awards and effective PR

With the upcoming Prism Awards, juror and managing director of Tribeca Relations Nicky James has some insights to share on the world of PR and communications.
Image supplied: Nicky James, managing director of Tribeca
Image supplied: Nicky James, managing director of Tribeca

James has worked in the consumer, technology, eventing, financial and corporate PR sectors, giving her substantial experience across the industry.

Having cofounded Tribeca over a decade ago, James has some interesting thoughts on the state of the PR industry, what to expect from Prism Awards and some industry trends to expect…

How would you describe your organisation?

Tribeca Public Relations (Tribeca) is a team of people who are passionate about public relations and using our PR and communications skills to get outstanding results for our clients as we help them meet their business objectives.

Focusing on our people has seen us build a consistently profitable agency that has won multiple industry awards in each of the 16 years we’ve been in business.

How did you find yourself in the PR industry?

The PR industry found me. I started studying a BSc, but quickly realised that a career in science wasn’t for me. I changed studies the following year to a BA Marketing Communications which is heavily focused on advertising and marketing. There were one or two PR modules.

Once I had passed honours, my lecturer asked if I’d be interested in an internship at a PR agency. I leapt at the opportunity and began my PR career in 2003 at Text 100. Two and a half years later, I cofounded Tribeca. I haven’t looked back.

What role does PR play in advertising awards and integrated marketing categories?

From an integrated marketing perspective, I believe PR has and will always play a critical role – not just in awards but in day-to-day deliverables.

No marketing discipline should stand alone. An effective PR strategy is born out of our understanding of our client's business and marketing strategies. All disciplines must work towards the same goal: to make a positive impact and contribution to our clients’ business objectives. If all of this is aligned, and we deliver on these objectives, then awards are the cherry on top.

Does PR contribute to and promote advertising agency rankings and brand reputation?

When all the vital elements of a brand strategy come together, magic happens. Successful brands are the ones that commit to an integrated marketing approach where PR receives equal ranking – and budget consideration – as other disciplines do.

From a brand reputation perspective, PR is front and centre. A key aspect of our role is to build a positive reputation for the brands we represent.

Could you share any future trends or predictions for the PR industry?

With the decline in print media, the juniorisation of newsrooms, and the exponential growth of online and social media platforms, brands have no choice but to adopt an integrated marketing approach – one that includes public relations. Our expertise supports internal and external communications needs, and this holistic approach will help brands build and protect their reputations across platforms and media.

Effective internal communications is crucial: brands need to manage internal stakeholders’ perceptions and expectations as much as they hope to build their reputations with external stakeholders. In a social media world, every employee has the potential to be a brand ambassador – or a brand critic – and brands need to invest time in ensuring that they are the former.

To quote Darren Brandt, co-chief CEO of Sloane and Company, ‘if content is king, data is emperor’. It was difficult to prove efficacy and impact in a pre-digital world, but online reporting platforms can now reveal the true reach, readership, and engagement of a piece of content. This gives us so much more information than we’ve ever had before, to make decisions for the brands we work with – whether we’re supporting them with traditional public relations activities or embarking on social media or influencer campaigns.

What are you expecting from Prism Awards this year?

Having been a part of the judging process this year, I'm confident that the winners all truly deserve the accolades they receive. From a Tribeca perspective, I'm exceptionally proud of the work we've done and the results we’ve achieved across the agency for our clients. Any wins will be a truly rewarding cherry on the top of a remarkable year of great public relations work.

About Emily Stander

Freelancer specialising in games and entertainment | My first loves are writing, music and video games

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