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Three things PR pros can learn from #WhereYouShopMatters

Visa's High Street Christmas Campaign

Three things PR pros can learn from #WhereYouShopMatters

This year’s Christmas PR, marketing and social media campaigns are in full swing (read all about our favourite adverts next week) and one campaign that has stood out so far is Visa’s push for saving the high street with #WhereYouShopMatters. 

Why? We work with a few clients in the retail space and the changing high street is a topic of huge discussion at the moment. Technology is there to help, but are retailers using it effectively? Are they keeping up with changing customer demands and expectations? Are the big players taking up too much room and not letting the smaller retailers get a look in?

The last part is where Visa focuses its campaign for the second year in a row. Supporting the UK’s independent retailers, the campaign seeks to encourage people to switch their focus from what they are buying to where they are buying. 

But what does Visa’s campaign teach us about the world of PR?

1. User-generated content is powerful   

Part of Visa’s campaign involves independent retailers up and down the country recreating the ad and showing why #WhereYouShopMatters to their own high street. The ‘copycat’ campaign incentivises retailers to join in by promising a prime-time ad slot in the run-up to Christmas. 

What can PR pros learn from this? Well, never underestimate the power of user-generated content. Who can you get involved in your PR and social media campaigns? Can you invite your product users to share their experience through a social media takeover, or can you invite them to write for your newsletter? Try not to ‘polish’ your user-generated content too much; the closer you can keep it to the original, the better. This way, your viewers, readers or followers will know they’re getting the real deal, straight from the horse’s mouth, making it much more authentic.

2. Reusing themes from previous campaigns CAN work   

Visa has revisited its #WhereYouShopMatters campaign for the second year in a row, following its success last year with the same subject. Instead of forcing the creatives in the room to think of a new concept, Visa simply acknowledged the power of last year’s campaign and found a way to give it a new twist and make it creative. 

So, PR Pros: never be afraid to bring back ‘old’ ideas – whether it’s a piece of thought leadership or an entire campaign concept. If you can make it relevant and still link it to your values and messaging, then it absolutely has a place in your PR and social media campaign. The same messaging shows consistency, but just make sure to always freshen it up so that you’re giving your audience a reason to keep coming back.

3. Don’t shy away from the big issues   

On PR Week, Ian Burge, communications lead for Visa UK & Ireland, said:

“We aim to build on the success of last year by giving even more small businesses a voice. We want to inspire everyone to shop locally this Christmas. Together we can all play a part in setting up our high streets and communities for success in 2020 and beyond.”

Visa is clearly very passionate about the future of the high street – and rightly so. But that’s why this campaign works so well. Organisations shouldn’t be afraid to shy away from the big issues – someone has to talk about them! Just make sure you are doing it with purpose and integrity, and in a way that makes sense for your brand and messaging. If you’re going to dive into politics, think about the potential repercussions of any statements you’re making. Find like-minded organisations and make a splash together – the bigger the voice, the more room there is to make an impact. 

Visa's High Street Christmas Campaign

There you have it, three lessons from Visa that all PR pros should pay attention to. 

Which Christmas campaigns have made an impression on you this year? Tweet us and let us know @NeoPRLtd. Keep an eye on our Content Hub and social media feeds next week for a roundup of Team Neo’s favourite Christmas campaigns! 

Rhea Cairns

Account Director.

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