“The time for cheap PR tricks is over”

Authenticity and simplicity are essential for excellence in communications



Hans Koeleman is director of corporate communications and CSR at KPN. He is the latest in our Meet The Jury series for the European Excellence Awards.

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What do you look for in an excellent communications campaign?

Professionalism. A ‘no guts no glory’ approach. Cleverness. Excellent execution. Clear objectives and dazzling results.

What are the common mistakes applicants make when submitting their campaigns to the awards?

No quantification of objectives and results. No materials that give a quick and easy overview of the strategy and the work done.

What advice would you give for applicants to help them stand out from the competition?

Honesty and simplicity in presentation is always the best approach. Be clear why you do something, what was your strategy, how did you implement it (your budget?) and what were the concrete results. And tell this to me – sharply – on one page with a three-minute video.

In your time as a jury member, what have been some of the stand-out campaigns you’ve reviewed?

There were many. The best work is done with sometimes hardly any budget, but there are also beautiful campaigns with big budgets. As long as it is something really powerful, beautiful (l love aesthetics), with great results, I’m in.

What trends have you noticed in the submitted campaigns?

I see more and more out of the box approaches – where corporate social responsibility is involved – and the trend of more interactive communication campaigns is absolutely there too. One thing that is absolutely vital to me is authenticity. If something is not genuine I don’t like it. The time for cheap PR tricks is over.

What are you hoping to see in this year’s European Excellence Awards?

Great, mindblowing and beautifully executed work.

Hans Koeleman

Hans Koeleman was named Chief Corporate Communication & CSR at KPN in August 2018, having previously held the title of KPN's Vice President Corporate Communications and Corporate Social Responsibility. He started at KPN as director of corporate communications and CSR at KPN Royal Dutch Telecom in June 2007. Prior to this, Hans held various key positions in corporate communications in sectors such as retail (Ahold), financial services and transport and logistics. Hans is also regional coordinator for the European Association of Communication Directors in the Netherlands, chairman of the Dutch PR Awards and board member of Esprix, the Dutch marketing communication awards.