Why You Should Care About Experiential PR

In a world of continuous and rapid evolution, it is essential for brands to rethink the way they engage with their key audience.

Today, the growing demand for more innovative marketing schemes have forced brands to explore a more holistic approach that extends far beyond traditional marketing channels such as advertising through newspapers, magazines and radio. A good number of brands have realized that it is no longer sustainable to only offer a product or service, but rather they need to reach above and beyond to employ branded experiential marketing tactics to communicate deeply with consumers.

Experiential PR “the What?”

What is experiential PR?

In layman terms, Experiential PR is a more experience-centric approach that involves face-to-face connections with consumers. This may consist of a variety of PR strategies geared toward immersing customers within the product by engaging them in ways that creates a positive impression and builds a relationship that lasts.

Unlike traditional PR which is designed to drive engagement online, experiential PR is all about creating real, tangible experiences. Experiential PR enables consumers to not just buy products or services from a brand, but to actually have an emotional connection with the brand. Experiential PR allows you to capture and retain consumer attention, communicate key brand messaging, and establish emotional connections with your audience.

A campaign using this kind of PR strategy may take the form of in-person interactions such as live events; tactile experiences such as retail installations, digital media, samplings and demos; digital media, interactive displays or whatever feels most appropriate to convey key messages.

“What we’re really trying to do is engage with the consumer community so deeply, that they begin to take on the task of evangelizing the brand themselves.”- David Rich

Experiential PR activation for Ralph Lauren Fragrances

Earlier this year, a client of ours, Ralph Lauren Fragrances launched Ralph’s Club EDP Fragrance in Lagos, Nigeria. To announce its presence into the Nigerian market, we adopted an experiential PR strategy. Ralph Lauren Fragrances invited Mavericks of Style to the “Greatest Night” of their lives. The event was a truly immersive content & brand-led experience that provided an avenue for authentic connection to the brand, expanding campaign reach and earned media generation.

Experiential PR “the Why?”

Now you know what it is, here’s why you should leverage it.

Truth be told, the PR ecosystem is highly competitive and you either adapt to the new trends or get left behind. Recent studies have shown that among companies that outgrew their competitors, 63% relied on experiential PR strategies to create more mileage for their brands.

The concept of experiential PR is not far-fetched. It has been globally embraced as a hybrid model to design highly personalized customer experiences that succeed in satisfying consumers on an immersive level. While traditional PR strategies verbally communicate the brand and product benefits to consumers, experiential PR on the other hand tries to immerse the consumers within the product by engaging as many other human senses as possible.

So why does your brand need to adapt this PR strategy? The 3 WHYS:

  1. Consumers want an experience-based connection with you!

Consumers are in search of experiences with products that “dazzle the senses” (Akyıldız et al. 2013).

In this new era, consumers value experiences over products. Consumers are constantly yearning for humanized experiences beyond the boring conventional in-app ads, branded Instagram stories, etc. Consumers need you to cater to their own interests while showing them that your brand stands out from the rest.

2. Experiential PR gets more results!

As opposed to traditional PR which focuses on one-to-many forms of online communication that rack up little to no number, experiential PR combines elements of traditional and modern PR efforts to craft personalized experiences that reach consumers on a deep and emotional level- which creates awareness, generates leads, increases sales, and boosts brand loyalty, and as a result, this ultimately leads to growth.

3. Experiential PR drives earned media

Lets begin with a clear understanding of earned media.

The term “earned media” isn’t new, but to some, it sounds foreign. From a PR perspective, earned media is any publicity you get through a third party that’s unpaid. Earned media includes news articles, consumer social media posts, mentions, product reviews and even direct recommendations- all of which can be achieved with the right marketing message such as Experiential PR.

For most, brand awareness is the goal and nothing boosts brand visibility and generates buzz than experiential PR! Deployed successfully, experiential PR campaigns not only reach the audience in a unique way but also creates organic publicity that carries great weight with the larger populace- which in turn leads to higher conversions, and ultimately, a higher return on investment.

Experiential PR isn’t just about throwing epic launch parties, curating the biggest influencer-filled guest lists, or wowing the media. It’s beyond that! They’re an annex to your company, and a way to help people experience your brand first hand- hence why as a brand, you need to ensure the experiences you immerse consumers with are authentic and relevant to your brand.

Cece Jacob-Okoro is a multifaceted creative, PR Girl and Content Writer on the rise!



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store