In 360PR’s 10th year, we celebrated by sharing some of the things we’ve learned along the way in a “10 minutes with…” series featuring interviews with our practice leaders! Last time we chatted with the Account Director of our @Home practice, Mike Rush. Now we’ve sat down with Rob Bratskeir, 360PR’s agency-wide Creative Director and General Manager of our New York office, to learn more about what brought him to 360 and what’s on the horizon for consumer engagement.
As one of the newer faces of 360PR, tell us a little about your journey and what brought you to 360PR.
My not-so-epic journey might best be summed up in two words: know thyself. Over the past few years, I came to realize that my best work over 20-odd years came on issues I really cared about and products I could get genuinely excited about. For instance, working on the Star Wars and Nerf brands when my son was 4 or 5 years old, and for CVS, helping people understand the vital counseling role pharmacists can and should play in healthcare. It’s why the journey took me to 360PR, where working on things you care about is a core principle that produces consistently superior work. I also get to really roll-up my sleeves at 360 and I find that very rewarding. It’s been great seeing how everyone on our senior team feels and operates this same way. If we could be in the trenches 100 percent of the time, we would! That’s where all the fun is to be had.
You have great experience in the spirits industry. What was your biggest takeaway working in spirits? What was one of your most memorable campaigns?
Spirits is a terrific category to work in because spirits marketers invite big thinking and aren’t afraid to invest in ideas that can move product off shelves. I’m a bourbon fanatic, so a campaign I ran a couple of years ago for Beam Worldwide’s Knob Creek brand was a dream come true. We needed to explain why Knob Creek was running short. Rather than being defensive and apologizing, we turned it around and used the shortage as occasion to underscore the brand’s superior craftsmanship and segment leadership. We landed the brand on hard news outlets national TV, something that almost never happens in the category. Successes like these happen consistently here at 360. Our people really dig in and become experts in the brands and products they work on, and in the industries they compete in. Implementing media strategies that work and engaging social media campaigns are natural outgrowths of that deep expertise.
As Creative Director for the agency and General Manager for 360PR’s New York office, are you noticing specific trends for consumer engagement? Are there new factors motivating consumer purchasing behavior?
Joining 360 has really opened my eyes to how the world has changed, because there such fundamental understanding of what it takes to earn and keep a consumer’s attention and trust in today’s environment. It’s one of the biggest reasons I wanted to come and work here. Social media is often called a revolution, but we need a better word to describe its profound effects on brands and marketers. Until the past few years, a brand really didn’t need to engage with consumers or other audiences. For all intents and purposes it was a one-way dialogue. Things have moved so far in the other direction, you could argue consumers are now the true owners of brands. The challenge is staying true to equity and remaining disciplined while having the flexibility to adjust on the fly. We’re only in the first or second inning, but it is incredibly energizing and producing some truly phenomenal work here. Our team truly gets it about two-way dialogue. We’re authentic, passionate communicators.
Inquiring minds MUST know…what’s the best bagel shop in NYC?
Bagel Bob’s, University and East 9th: there is no substitute and a quick 15-minute walk from the office and a five-minute hop from home. Does it get any better?