The Broadcast Monitoring Blog

All Eyes on Cannes: An Inside Look at Winning a PR Lion

Winning a Cannes PR Lion can instantly catapult your agency into the top tier of PR firms worldwide. But what does it take to put together a winning creative and innovative campaign and how can you promote your achievements after the ceremony?

Cannian_Lions.pngGlobal PR firm Ketchum has won numerous awards, including nineteen at Cannes. It’s was an active participant in this year’s festival, where it hosted two panels on the main stage and sponsored the Young Lions Marketers competition. That’s why we’re thrilled to have the opportunity to talk to Betsy Quinn, partner and global awards director, to get an inside look at why Cannes is so important for the PR industry, and what makes a great entry.

Betsy’s answers are sure to inspire you to submit an entry in the future. As you plan your next campaign with this award in mind, remember that broadcast media monitoring can play a valuable role in making a brilliantly creative campaign. With it, you can research trends, gain inspiration from past award winners and report results of both the campaign and the festival. To help you make the most of this tool during the campaign planning and awards process, we’ve incorporated a few of our own tips into our conversation with Betsy.

What do you think sets Cannes apart from other PR awards programs?

Cannes is the largest and arguably the most highly respected global creative awards program today. Once exclusively an international advertising festival, Cannes has rebranded itself as a creativity festival in recent years, and added a show division dedicated to PR in 2009 to embrace all forms of marketing communications.

Having said that, the bar remains very high for PR campaigns and for PR agencies, since we tend to enter predominantly earned media-driven campaigns, but are often up against larger, bigger budget, integrated campaigns led by ad agencies. So when our industry’s work and ideas do break through, it is a true testament to the impact public relations and our form of earned influence can have for our clients.

TVEyes Tip: Let your team be inspired and motivated by the best. Use broadcast media monitoring to research past Cannes winners and analyze clips and news segments to learn why they were so successful. You can also set up alerts to track ongoing winning campaigns as a way to benchmark your own progress.

What do you think are the key attributes of a winning entry?

Winning really all comes down to the brilliance and effectiveness of the creative idea, and the ability of the entrant’s case film to communicate it in a clear, emotionally moving and memorable way. There are more than 2,200 entries in PR Lions this year – so the idea behind your work must markedly stand out in the crowd. Cannes awards originality and creative bravery. Truly transformative thinking and ideas. Importantly, did the work lead to social change or good, or have a demonstrably positive impact on people or the communications business?

In our experience, social purpose campaigns have performed very well at Cannes in recent years, because they elevate the work above selling products, and their impact translates universally.

TVEyes Tip: Broadcast media monitoring can illuminate how social issues play out in the media and help PR teams understand which messages will resonate best for a transformative campaign. Evaluate news segments to develop a deeper understanding of the forces driving a particular issue, and identify cultural trends, buzzwords and hot buttons that can be used to connect with target audiences and influence change. Archive coverage to track evolving stories and reportorial point-of-view.

Leading up to and during Cannes, how do you promote your brand and/or shortlisted entry?

Our delegates will produce provocative thought leadership content for Ketchum properties and other platforms. We also are thrilled to showcase some of our award submissions in partnership with our clients on

TVEyes Tip: Broadcast monitoring tools such as market share heat maps, which show the concentration of coverage in particular regions, can provide a visual representation of your campaign’s reach and influence. Social change also can be measured with trend charts that show how long your campaign has kept the conversation going in the media as well as key turning points in the discussion.

After the Lions, what are one or two of the best - or most unique - ways you continue to promote your investment in the event and/or a win?

Upon our return from France, our main goal is to immediately share our learnings with our clients, colleagues, and other members of our community. Cannes is the ultimate ground for learning and idea incubation. Throughout the festival, our delegates are absorbing everything they can and forming and interpreting actionable new insights that we believe can deliver value to our clients.

We curate the best of our thinking and host a global webinar. We also take a Cannes inspiration show on the road directly to our clients, and develop useful trend reports highlighting all the rich knowledge gained.

TVEyes Tip: Review media coverage of the festival and your award-winning campaign to understand how the media is discussing its merit’s. Incorporate these takeaways into your post-event discussions with employees and clients. Identify key themes and leverage them to shape future campaigns.

Winning a Cannes PR Lion is a prestigious and coveted honor. At TVEyes, we wish to congratulate all of this year’s winners – and hope we can inspire next year’s top campaigns. Discover how TVEyes can enhance your PR campaigns by requesting a free trial.

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  • Monitor and research coverage.
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