The Top Three Takeaways from the 86th Academy Awards for PR Professionals
By Nicole Santos
There was much abuzz about Sunday night’s Oscars, from the glitz and glamour of it all, to America’s favorite comedienne winning at hosting the show, to, well, the amazing movies (as per usual) nominated for one of those infamous 24-karat gold-plated statues. One thing’s for sure: this year’s Awards were definitely an enticing one. That’s not to undermine previous hosts, but that is to say that the uplifting and humorous, yet effortless energy Ellen DeGeneres exerted in her quest to innovate and turn the Awards around as a host, played the hero. Next year’s host will have enormous shoes to fill, but in the world of PR, professionals could also take some notes.
1. Pay close attention to your client’s needs—Let’s not forget some of the most important people in the PR dynamic, our clients. Ultimately, we work for them, and they hired us because we’re exceptional at what we do, and it’s who we are. Part of the rewarding experience is seeing how happy our clients are, because we were able to deliver exactly what they needed. Sure, it won’t be easy at times, but that’s the part where we learn to balance and manage our tasks and time properly. It’s important to allocate effort appropriately for each client and make sure that when we’re not already achieving a client’s given set of goals, we’re working towards them.
In Sunday night’s instance, Ellen ordered pizza. Literally. The delivery guy was televised handing boxes and boxes out to the crowd, with some celebrities even lending a helping hand. It was an impossibly adorable and sweet gesture. Ellen just wanted to make the Oscars more enjoyable because like all normal people, celebrities get hungry too! Imagine sitting through hours of speeches on an empty stomach—no one would like that! The bottom line is, Ellen delivered. She stated that she’d order pizza for everyone and she did.
2. Pay close attention to your target publication/audience—As PR professionals, we interact with the media regularly, being attentive of whom we’re speaking to and to what publication they work for. We put effort into how our pitches are sculpted, the type of content that we pitch, and even our tone of voice. To maintain a healthy relationship, we need to display the proper mannerisms that will not only sell the story, but will keep the media hungry for more.
Ellen’s selfie with a number of actors (that went viral the moment she tweeted it), was a good example. She knew that just like everyone else, actors don’t just want to sit through a long award show; they want to be a part of it. She engaged the audience, knowing that it would be a fun way to get not only them involved, but her followers as well. In addition, with selfies ruling social media handles, why not right? The last thing Ellen would have wanted was a bored crowd.
3. Time is of the essence—Lastly, Ellen taught us all how important time management skills are. We live in a fast-paced, technology driven world where everything is delivered instantly. The PR world is nothing short of that, especially when keeping up with deadlines. Working with the media stresses that. It is important for PR professionals to practice efficient time-management skills so that we can balance tasks and deadlines for each of our clients. Every productive minute counts.
(Source: USA Today)
This was something Ellen gave way to, as she announced the evening’s final presenter, Will Smith, for the Oscar for Best Picture. At this point, the crowd was itching to find out who won, and head out for the evening’s post-Awards festivities. She stressed, through her humor, that it was the moment of truth—the moment that everyone was waiting for, and that she understood that nobody likes to wait. Ellen continued to emphasize on the fact that she would not make them wait any longer, and after the Best Picture honor was awarded to 12 Years A Slave, she kept it short and simple and bid everyone “thank you” and “good night”.