With the slow demise of traditional media, many companies are questioning whether public relations is also dead. In short, yes, traditional PR as we once knew it ––where pros solely relied on their relationships with editors and producers to slot stories in the magazine, newspaper, and TV outlets––is toast.
Why is Public Relations still important?
Public relations helps build an online presence across multiple platforms – social media, earned media, paid media, and more. Public relations is vital because it involves storytelling. Advertising and marketing can only go so far and can become bothersome at times, turning consumers away from the product.
Undoubtedly one of the most prominent lessons to emerge from 2020 is adaptability, and the best PR pros will have mastered it. But like a phoenix rising, a new PR has emerged, and its relationship to the success of your business is every bit as significant as its predecessor. While PR may now be less about “earned” media spots, its focus on credible and valuable messaging to consumers and visible, timely content remains the same.
More than ever, companies need to reach their customers in compelling ways on the digital platforms they frequent, which is why Forbes recently called PR in a pandemic, “priceless.”
Read on to see why having a PR pro in your corner is more important than ever.
They’ve mastered the pivot. From building relationships with veteran journalists to befriending trending influencers, PR pros are agile and can easily change course as messaging channels shift. They can help your company craft a message that provides value to or helps solve your audience’s problem to ensure maximum exposure and retention. Additionally, whether your company needs to spread the word about a new product launch or do quick damage control, they can take the lead on navigating how and where you will best communicate with your market. Currently, PR pros are tasked with eking out space in media and messaging channels dominated by COVID news, so creativity is vital.
They’re proactive. As we’ve all learned this year, catastrophe can strike anytime. Without a PR strategy in place, your company remains in a reactive state. You’re waiting by the phone for someone to decide to mention you––ahem, good luck––and you’re unprepared with on-target messaging should your company or industry be cast in a negative light. Do you have creative thinkers that can seize control of your company message if it’s under attack? Someone whose longstanding relationships with media and influencers could secure your coveted editorial space when your brand needs it most? Perhaps most importantly, have you built enough credibility with your customers by way of proactive publicity that your company can survive an impending storm? Your business is vulnerable if you answer no to any of these questions.
They can produce publishable content. In today’s digital world, we know that online visibility is king. But how do you break through the noise? Entrepreneur says that one of the significant PR trends of 2020 will be creating new types of content that drive sales. PR pros can craft more than a press release; as adept storytellers, they can produce engaging, publishable content––from blogs and tweets to videos, webinars, and more––to bring visibility to your company. They can also work in tandem with your SEOs to develop keywords and topics that ensure said content is most accessible to the customers you need to reach.
They see the big marketing picture. Ad Age recently said that the roles and goals of marketing and PR have merged and converged, and the right PR pro can help steer the ship. As strategic thinkers, they can help a brand create authentic and meaningful messaging that is at the forefront of all digital marketing tactics. Whether your goal is free publicity or paid placement, that carefully-crafted image of your company is at the forefront, and there’s no one better to paint that picture than a PR pro.