Be emotional and don’t glorify the leader’ PR expert tells associations

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Christophe Ginisty Christophe Ginisty

Associations should focus on eliciting an emotional response from their audience, rather than just spreading information, if they want to deliver a successful public relations campaign on a tight budget.

That was one of the key messages from Christophe Ginisty, former president of the International Public Relations Association, speaking at a special event for association executives in London.

Around forty associations were represented at The Oysters Annual Association Luncheon, which was held in The Napoleon Cellar of Berry Bros & Rudd, the historic wine merchants in St James' Street.

Now a digital strategist and reputation management specialist, Ginisty pointed to several online campaigns that had gone viral, including Je Suis Charlie and #Metoo, whose success was based on people sharing an emotional response to something.

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Associations enjoyed a three-course lunch in The Napoleon Cellar at Berry Bros & Rudd[/caption]

Elsewhere he counselled against ‘glorifying the leader’. While it was important to have the courage to stand alone and risk looking foolish, it was equally important to demonstrate how to follow, nurture followers, and encourage people to participate in a wider ‘movement’. Brands like Lufthansa and Greenpeace had delivered hugely successful campaigns using these basic principles.

He said: “When you are thinking about having an impact, when you are thinking about making a difference, you might naturally think, ‘we need to have more money’. The reality is today, thanks to the social media revolution, you can have an incredible impact without spending the money you don’t have.”

Adding: “To have an impact today is not just about spreading the news but creating movements. Make everything clearly about the movement, not about you. It’s not about self-promotion, it’s about creating something that is inspirational. Be public, be easy to follow, and don’t over glorify the role played by the leader.”

The Oysters is a group of destination convention bureaux who have combined their resources to hold educational and networking events for international associations.

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The Oysters destination convention bureaux[/caption]

Member Anne Ridyard, appointed MICE representative for Korea MICE Bureau, said: “For international associations, relevant content is key to their offering, through events, publications and more, and as the Korea convention bureaux it is imperative that we support international associations with events like these, supporting them with additional ideas and tools to help their remit. This year it was about creating influencers, last year it was about visualising the outcome of events. The Oysters are a collection of destination bureaux who aim to be about more than just destination promotion. Associations can leave valuable legacies in our destinations and events such as these opens valuable discussions for both parties.”

Amongst the other Oyster members at the event were representatives from Canada, Copenhagen, Cyprus, Dubai, Flanders, France, Germany, Holland, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Malta, Norway, Singapore, and Switzerland.

James Lancaster
Written By
James Lancaster

AMI editor James Lancaster is a familiar face in the meetings industry and international association community. Since joining AMI in 2010, he has gained a reputation for asking difficult questions and getting lost in convention centres. Proofer, podcaster, and panellist - in his spare time, James likes to walk, read, listen to music, and drink beer.

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