Creativity Matters in Public Relations – Barco’s PR Team Needs a Raise

PR (public relations) in the AV industry, generally, sucks. Trust me. Not only do I teach to PR students at the University of North Carolina and see (and read) great PR pitches all the time from them, but the agony of reading boringly written or overly-flub-ridden press releases from MOST (not all, just most) PR professionals in the audiovisual market cannot be properly expressed in this blog. Agony is the right word, however.

Note: to the PR professionals reading this blog, I spared you the embarrassment of calling you out by posting your PR here. But, if you really want to know who you are, just ask me or Sara Abrons (our executive editor) and we will gladly let you know what we think, and why, with constructive criticism. 

It isn’t often that the PR is creative in our market — literally, barely ever — so when someone is, it jumps out to us. Peerless-AV comes to mind with their recent PR efforts with the launch of their outdoor speaker launch kit and their red sunglasses campaigns over the past two years. Christie and their Book of Shapes — pure awesomeness.

So, when Barco sent out their UniSee launch kit — it stood out! And, it made me want to reach out to them and find out more.

Sure, it’s a geek-box kind-of-thing, but I love it! Give the Barco PR team a raise! Seriously. Don’t underestimate the value of this level of creativity.

OK, we realize not every PR team has the budget a $1.4 billion company like Barco has, but even a well-written press release devoid of ridiculous superlatives (e.g., world’s best, biggest, best-in-class, thinnest, first), missing the pathetic buzzwords (e.g., game-changing, disruptive) and filled with just the facts would be a celebrated victory around here in the office filled with our reporters trying to decipher the truth.

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Gary Kayye

About Gary Kayye

Gary Kayye, founder of rAVe Publications, is one of the most prominent personalities in the audiovisual industry. He has been a contributor to WIRED magazine and a technical advisor and columnist for Sound & Communications magazine as well as an opinionated columnist for rAVe [Publications] since 2003. In addition to his writing and market analysis, Gary has been a product, marketing and business operations consultant to dozens of AV companies in the U.S. and overseas. Clients have included companies such as Sony, Sharp, Epson, Lutron, InFocus, Sanyo, Mitsubishi, NEC and Philips.   Gary, who has been involved with the audiovisual market for over 20 years, was the recipient of the InfoComm 2003 Educator of the Year Award and the 2007 NSCA Instructor of the Year Award. Over the years, he has donated much of his time as an active volunteer in the AV industry’s trade association and served as chairman of InfoComm’s Professional Education & Training Committee (PETC), chairman of the ICIA Design School Committee and chairman of InfoComm’s Installation School Committee. In addition, he has served on the InfoComm board of governors. He also helped grow the InfoComm Projection Shoot-Out as the premiere AV industry trade show special event serving on the committee from 1991 through 1997, and was instrumental in launching the Shoot-Out in the European market at the Photokina Expo in 1994 and 1996 as well as the Asian market at the 1995 and 1997 INFOCOMM Asia shows.   Prior to founding his own company, Gary was vice president of sales and marketing for AMX Corporation (www.amx.com), a manufacturer specializing in professional AV and residential AV control systems. Prior to AMX, Gary spent nine years at Extron Electronics (www.extron.com), rising to the position of vice president of sales and marketing. Gary earned his bachelor’s degree in journalism in 1987 from the University of North Carolina and is currently Adjunct Faculty at UNC in the School of Journalism teaching a class on how future technologies will affect the future of advertising, PR and marketing.   He is also the founder of Swim for Smiles, a non-profit that raises money for the N.C. Children’s Hospital through swimming and other fitness-related events for kids. You can contact him at gary@ravepubs.com..