Ogilvy veteran Charlotte (Charlie) Tansill is President of PR, Social & Influence, North America. Passionate about using creativity to solve business problems, she takes an audience-centric approach to counseling clients and evolving brands to be prepared for the modern world.
How would you describe the functionality of the partnership between an agency and its PR counterpart?
At Ogilvy, we bring a fully integrated solution to our clients inclusive of PR. Through our trusted client partnerships, we bring creativity to their biggest business problems with the breadth and depth of our capabilities. Often, we’re partnering with our clients at the most senior levels, driving business and social transformation leading to more agile and culturally connected communications. Importantly, we help our clients stay ahead of the curve on the latest trends, innovations, and customer behaviors – not just participating in but also adding to culture and pushing them toward being a brand communicator for the future.
Back in the day, PR was about protecting a brand and its reputation largely through earned or free media: Press releases, statements, stories and crisis management. What has led to the PR function becoming more creatively oriented?
Consumers are increasingly in the driver’s seat when it comes to their relationship with brands. They’re consuming media on their terms, paying to skip advertisements, or avoiding them altogether. They’re expecting more than great products, purchasing from brands with shared values. They’re skeptical of brands that talk without backing those messages with actions. And because of these accelerating realities, future-focused brands are rising to the challenge, listening to their consumers, and adapting their communications to integrate into – and not interrupt – their consumers’ lives. This means the principles of PR and earned-first creativity (ideas that are conceived to be shared – by people, communities, media – to earn attention) no longer apply only to brand protection and reputation but must increasingly be the foundation for brand building and marketing.
How are you leveraging modern tech and/or social media in client work, and what value does it add to the creative process?
At Ogilvy PR, we are a new type of agency designed to operate and thrive at the intersection of brand reputation and cultural relevance – the two most powerful and persuasive assets a company can have. As part of this proposition, we have an expansive social media expertise team with community managers, social data analysts and scientists, social strategists, influencer strategists, creative technologists, social-first creatives, and more. Our clients are increasingly partnering with us to drive business transformation, counseling and guiding them toward putting agile social capabilities at the center of their marketing and communications. We integrate social media insights into our earned-first creative process every step of the way. This ensures our creative work has cultural relevance and impact. We’ve built proprietary social listening tools to ensure we have unique and relevant cultural insights to both power our big idea, but also to fuel real-time optimizations and opportunities.
What kind of projects does your agency call on a PR counterpart (in-house or external) to get involved in? In what ways have brand communications evolved in light of having a more integrated partnership?
At Ogilvy, we are comprised of five businesses, from PR to Advertising to Consulting. We’re seeing that our clients are increasingly looking to consolidate their agency roster, driving efficiency for them, but also enabling them to meet consumers with more connected brand experiences. As a result, our clients are bringing us business challenges that require integrated solutions at the intersection of creative, earned, social, influence and more. So, in other words, we ARE the PR counterpart, integrating from the start to ensure that our creative solutions build brand value, protect brand reputation and drive business results.