There was a lot of back and forth on social media on Sunday during the England vs Italy Six Nations rugby game. The reason for all the furore was that Italy took quite an innovative (controversial) approach to the way they played and the England team had no idea how to deal with it. It was so bizarre that England forward James Haskell was heard through the ref’s mic, asking him what the law was. The bemused referee Jérôme Garcès replied, ‘I’m a referee, not a coach!’ Much to social media’s amusement.
By finely treading the line on a rucking law loophole, Italy turned what would’ve been a one-sided affair into somewhat of a close contest for much of the game. A lot of people within the rugby circles especially the England coach, Eddie Jones, were infuriated by the way Italy played and some even called for the law to be changed.
However, the whole situation got me thinking. It got me thinking about how people often hate deviating from norms and things seen as disruptive to the current way of doing things are shot down. It got me thinking about companies such as Uber and Airbnb who have disruptively reshaped the taxi and hotel industries, respectively. It also got me thinking about a shift currently happening in the PR industry.
I am referring to the shift from the use of just the traditional methods and strategies of doing PR to the integration of earned, paid, and owned to achieving campaign objectives. The idea of implementing things such as content marketing and promoted content to a PR campaign.
The backlash to the way Italy played on Sunday reminded of how as more agencies begin to explore these options, some traditionalists continue to frown at them because these new approaches wreak of advertising.
I guess the jury is still out for both situations but it does make you wonder, what side of the argument do you want to be on when the dust settles?