A recent Inc. article that explores “5 Macro Shifts Driving the Growth PR Evolution,” plus a recent cocktail party chat that posed the question, “Is PR dying?” has our office buzzing with conversations on the many changes we have seen in the Public Relations industry in a pretty short amount of time.
Our senior staff members have been practicing PR for more than a decade, and our more junior team members have an impressive combined number of years in the field. What we were taught in school laid a foundation for our professional careers, but the world of PR has evolved (a lot) since then. However, this evolution doesn’t mean it’s “dead.” PR is very much alive, and changing all the time.
Public Relations should absolutely be a part of your company’s communications strategy; the key to success is understanding what PR can accomplish, what it can’t do, and how to stay nimble in order to take advantage of unexpected opportunities.
So, What Exactly Can PR Do?
When done correctly, PR builds relationships between brands and their audiences during key moments. Relationships rely on trust, and trust takes time. Communicating your brand accurately and honestly on platforms that reach your target markets, media, and influencers, is strategic (and measurable) – but won’t happen overnight. Investing in PR means you are investing in building connections that are meaningful – how can your business be successful without strong relationships? (Hint: it can’t.)
PR Horror Stories
A never-ending news cycle, plus the growth of social media, means that when a brand makes a mistake, it can be very visible and spread like wildfire, becoming water cooler fodder for all the wrong reasons. It is usually easy to spot organizations that don’t have strategic PR as a part of their communications team, because they are in the news for the wrong reasons with no way out. The worst time to try to build a relationship with a new media contact or audience is in response to negative news: that is a situation that PR can’t fix and will result in a PR horror story. Not ideal.
Stay Nimble + Focused
Our advice is to stay nimble and focused. Invest in, and understand, the digital landscape and what it means to your company. Build relationships with media and influencers to earn not only trust, but also your position as a thought leader. This means targeted pitches made individually, always sharing accurate information, and timely correspondence. This means setting measurable goals and implementing strategies to get you there. This also means planning for the worst.
A good PR practitioner is still a really important player on your communication team. And, if you don’t have someone thinking about your brand’s reputation and trust, we’d love to chat about how we might be able to help. You can fill out the form below or reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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