The public relations landscape has changed dramatically in just the last five years. Social media is a mainstay in all industries, with new platforms always emerging. Digital now blends with traditional, requiring PR experts to embrace the best of the new as well as the old. Connecting in meaningful ways to ever-savvier audiences requires one-part insight, one-part information and one-part entertainment.
Bottom line: being a PR pro today requires more than a knack to knock out an amazing media pitch. When common goals include boosting awareness, promoting thought leadership, increasing engagement and growing sales, it’s no walk in the park. In this changing new media world, though, good PR is more essential than ever.
In talking with my network of PR experts, it seems today’s PR professional must master a variety of skills. To appease clients and really influence campaign goals, PR folks learn to be jacks and jills of all trades. After all, the demands of a client can change in an instant; PR firms must keep pace.
Demands include social media savviness and the ability to create authentic connections with audiences and influencers. Yes, Twitter and Facebook still rule the scene, but new platforms are always on their heels. Depending on the audience you’re targeting, you must be agile. Just think, five or six years ago there was no Instagram and Snapchat. Today, these players seem to grow bigger every day. Tomorrow, more new players will enter the arena.
Top-quality writing is another PR essential and its importance cannot be understated. In a single day, seasoned PR pros might write a blog post, an analyst pitch, an outline for a whitepaper, and then polish off the month’s social media plan. Content marketing activities like these can supercharge PR efforts, but without topnotch writing backed by solid strategy, success is virtually impossible.
Speaking of strategy, understanding and embracing analytics is essential for modern PR experts. Facebook Insights and Google Analytics are just two of many different offerings that provide valuable insight. Monitoring these tools helps produce focused strategy and provide benchmarks for success.
And remember, it’s not enough just know and understand analytics; you need to be able to help the client understand them, too. Be prepared to explain everything in layman’s terms to the client. Producing understandable reports and having productive conversations with clients is essential for maintaining agency-of-record status.
In the realm of PR, it’s often a group effort to get the job done right. A team can be electric when everyone is collaborating to achieve synergy and positive results. Let’s look at a basic example: You are tasked to create a whitepaper for a client and then demonstrate how it is driving traffic. Multiple people may be involved in the research, writing, editing and design tasks. Once the project is complete, digital strategy and social outreach help drive readers and boost rankings. Finally, analytics and ongoing reporting make for a happy client.
Brandpoint works with PR agencies regularly to lend our expertise in some or all content-marketing activities. From our professional in-house writers to the amazing strategy team and those who live and breathe social — we tackle every project with enthusiasm and determination. Because the business landscape is always changing, we keep our ears to the ground and fingers on the pulse of the continued evolution of public relations.
I couldn’t be more excited for what the future has in store and for continuing to support our PR clients.
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