The New Public Relations

The New PublicRelations

To say that Public Relations is more than just sending press releases and pitching media is an understatement.  A PR Professional must not only be media savvy and an effective communicator, but also a Spokesperson, Event Planner, Image Consultant and Writer.  This traditional role of PR however, is currently in flux as the internet and social media are now such large parts of human communications.

At our fingertips are new tools and outlets for reaching the press and audiences.  This ability to target niche groups and reach into the immense digital world to engage and cultivate, puts forth a number of unique opportunities for Publicists.  We are now creating digital content, managing social networks, analyzing data, writing blogs and working closer than ever with the Advertising and Sales teams.

The New PR forces practitioners to evolve and…

1. See the Big Picture:How does a company’s overall business strategies effect public relations? Where does PR fit into larger company objectives? What effect do PR efforts have on the whole?  Seeing the Big Picture means being able to develop strategies that compliment and cooperate with all departments (sales, marketing, advertising, legal, R&D) and accomplish organizational goals.  It also means using all the tools available to us, which includes apps, social media, analytics, research and new technologies.  PR can no longer stay within its own secluded box of activities.

2. Create PR plans that encourage engagement & interaction:  PR plans should be balanced between the traditional methods of media relations (sending releases & pitching) and utilizing the new tools (video, social media, blogs, etc.) that encourage interaction with potential customers and the media.  Engagement and interaction help in understanding the needs, wants, and concerns of your audience, while building and fostering customer relationships and brand loyalty.

3. Track & Measure Results, then Make adjustments:  Technology has also given us ways to track and measure the performance of our campaigns.  We can go beyond collecting media clippings to counting clicks, favorites, followers, retweets and likes; website views and shares.  All this, in addition to press coverage, should be used to indicate the success of our public relations efforts.  We must learn to use the technology available to us as reporting tools.  These reports and measurements will allow us to understand what aspects of our plans are not working and how to make successful future adjustments.

“Change is the law of life and those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.”  Never has this quote by John F. Kennedy been more true than it is now.  Change is here whether or not we like it, so we must either go with the flow or risk drowning.

Photo Credit: Life of Pix, Damien Zakeski