What happens when you put one of Perth’s hottest PR guys up for a grilling? Attendees at last Thursday’s Grill The Marketer event found out when The Marketer’s Clayton Smith and Carma Levene hosted David ‘DG’ Gardiner of DGPR. Here Carma Levene outlines the event.
You might know him as the force behind the Oasis Ball and Campaign Brief WA Awards night, or his recent spread in The West Insider celebrating 10 years of DGPR, and if not, you’ve probably been to one of the many Perth venues he represents.
So what did we learn?
Well, for many marketers, PR is a bit of a mystery. It’s more than sending press releases. It’s earning media attention, planning events and famils, curating lists of the ‘right’ people, crisis comms, brand collabs, reputation management, brand positioning – and more.
We covered a lot of this on Thursday night, and one topic that surprised me took on a life of its own was crisis comms. It’s not as sexy as some of the other aspects of PR, but an essential component, and it’s better to have a plan and not need it out than just to hope for the best.
Because if you fuck up your crisis comms, your crisis becomes exponentially worse.
There was a lot of excellent questions from the crowd, including using modern technology to streamline workflow (are we ever going to have an event where ChatGPT isn’t mentioned – probably not) but the underpinning theme was that PR is about relationships. And to be good at those you have to be human.
Listening to your clients and understanding what they need (often reading in between the lines of what they’ve said they needed), checking in on them, learning their ways of working, and – of the utmost importance, developing and maintaining trust are key.
This is how you stay in business for 10 years in this fast-paced industry, and never need to go looking for clients.
As well as the dynamic Gardiner, it was Grill The Marketer’s 5th birthday – so naturally there was cake.
Photos by Peter Dancewicz.