JANUARY 16

ADVICE: PUBLIC RELATIONS IN A CHANGING WORLD

by    |  PUBLIC RELATIONS

It used to be so simple. Public relations was all about getting the news media to take notice of what our companies were doing; so we delivered press kits, arranged interviews, and doled out exclusives in effort to get our messages heard.

Then along came the Internet. And web design. And Google, Facebook and Twitter. And blogging, analytics and metadata. As soon as we get our heads around one idea, another one comes along. And doesn’t it seem like the boss wants to try them all -- right now?

The boss is right about one thing: Today’s increasingly borderless and transparent information environment demands that customers and potential customers have full, whenever/wherever access to compelling content about our companies and their offerings. Still, though, sometimes there’s a new-product launch, a new CEO, or a funding announcement that really calls out for some traditional, For Immediate Release PR.

New Tasks for New Times

So how do companies choose the right message, the right vehicle and the right timing, especially as options expand and budgets contract? The same way they make a lot of decisions: They look for experts, and choose them carefully.

These days the most reliable experts in public relations have embraced the principles of content marketing without forgetting that more traditional public relations strategies can still be very effective. Furthermore, they understand how each approach can augment the other.

The highest performers can crank up two engines for ideas. One is centered around outreach, and produces results through both traditional media relations and newer vehicles like social media and link building. The other engine is content-focused, and produces blogs, articles and other online elements as well as press releases and collateral. These two approaches don’t compete; they complement.

A PR Campaign for PR

All this change has gotten a whole industry thinking, and currently the Public Relations Society of America is the process – literally – of redefining PR. Soon there will be a summit meeting and a vote on the group’s official definition of public relations.

We hope that as our industry branches out in new directions that it embraces the new methods without jettisoning some older ones. They both work. Together they work even better.

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