What do you think about when you hear the words, ‘public relations?’ Several commercial films on the television, putting up a banner and even mobile spam messages? … like these things, public relations (PR) is close to our life. Recently interest in PR has been increasing and many students want to adopt the PR profession. Many people are walking the same road as PR and promotion, but somebody has chosen a different way. ‘STORY N’ CEO Kim Tae Wook doesn’t simply do promotion. He combines promotion and storytelling. Let’s hear his life-story.
1. Please tell us about your current job.
Basically, my job is public relations. It is classified into social marketing, consulting, an advertising agency, lectures and writing a book. The promotion, consulting, and lectures are aimed at public institutions and companies. l have also written books for the study of promotion.
2. You graduated from the English department, but why did you go into public relations?
When I was a student, I liked writing and literature. So I entered the English department. It was not a way to get a job. One day I watched a Budweiser commercial at university and it made me change my path to promoting. The advertisement slogan was, 'It is the famous Budweiser’. It can create different feelings by using ‘THE’. Getting different vibes from a word was a fresh shock for me. From that moment, I decided to double major in the department of mass communication and to get a job in promotions.
3. Please tell us about your storytelling promotion way.
Promotion should be informing consumers of a company, product or brand. Properly reporting of a brand’s character is a simplification but I worried about it a lot. I thought about making a story. So I matched promotion and to a story; it is a way of storytelling.
4. Why is storytelling important in promotion?
The promotion is about communication from enterprises to consumers. Promotion should have interesting and memorable things. If a promotion is not interesting, consumers won’t remember. A recent trend is in mobile promotions. Consumers tend to see interesting promotions. For example, consumers are more likely to remember a gizzard shad that made a daughter-in-law come back home, back than ‘a gizzard shad that is simply delicious’. So I think storytelling is an important factor.
5. You talk about ‘flirting with brand’. This term is unique. What was the effect of flirting with storytelling for consumers?
‘SOME’ is an abbreviation of ‘something’. When men and women have some relation, they use the word. I changed the point of view from people to promotion. Then I made a story, as I mentioned earlier.
We usually think we make a rational purchase, but often we make an emotional purchase. For example, sneakers of a brand are not purchased for a specific function. The main reason is that we think the brand image is more important than function. Considering this relationship gives more positive effects.
6. What is the most memorable promotion?
I publicized a campaign to revitalize local businesses on Seongsu-dong-handmade-shoes alley. I promoted it on SNS. The title was ‘Seongsu-dong Bootery Story’. There is a father who is a master craftsman and his daughter. Through the story of their daily life, the promotion introduced the superiority of handmade shoes and Seongsu-dong-handmade-shoes town. It got across ‘handmade shoes are superior’ through SNS. It was the most memorable thing.
7. SNS advertising is popular these days. What is the way of flirting with SNS?
There are some ways to advertise-intervene in an existing story or planning advertisement. Honey butter chip is one of the most effective ways of SNS advertising. This popularity started from a celebrity’s post. Several celebrities posted proof shots and it led to a culture. Thus the public, without exception, follows what others do. Honey butter chip is a not only eating a snack, but also their pride. It is a fever of honey butter chips.
8. Advertising change over times. What do you think about ways of using promotion for the present and in the future?
As mentioned earlier, consumers spend money emotionally and feel indifferent to boring advertising. Something interesting or touching is effective in promotion. Also storytelling has identity of brand. Including these and attracting one’s attention makes a well made advertisement. And the best way is making a memorable story.
9. Story telling is important not only for business but also personally. How do you apply it personally?
Brand storytelling, like personal storytelling, is in the process of developing an identity. The personal brand is ‘professionalism’, you need difference and growth. The key words are professionalism and development in the personnel storytelling. This step is storytelling and story doing. In other words, specialize your storytelling and develop a story. For example, you discover the events related to your dream in the past and tie together pieces of them.
10. Can you give any advice to students who dream of being an advertising man?
Since advertising is dynamic work, students must think creatively. Also, they’d better build extensive knowledge from working on the spot. It is important to have diverse experiences as well as accumulating knowledge in college. Advertising is a visible way for us to recognize a trend. To get a sense, you should be aware of the work of media nearby. Reading newspapers is the best way. To preside over a meeting, glancing at the newspaper is a great help to understand society. At this time, don’t accept it at face-value. You need to train your critical ability through them.
He said that public relations should be easy to understand and it is necessary to remember not only selling products, but including their “identity”. Through this interview, students who have thought, ‘advertising = promotion’, will be able to get a variety of new ideas. Let’s find a different way and not the same way. The visiting process may be hard to understand, but tomorrow it’ll make more sense. Let’s travel around the world to live up to our dream!
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