I recently reconnected with a former client that we supported 10 years ago. He is with a new company now and considering our services to support various public relations initiatives. After we spoke and scoped his needs, I presented a proposal that included social media, video and the creation of a blog – among other tools and techniques.
After reviewing the proposal, he was somewhat puzzled with the approach, as his recollection of public relations (back in the day) was a heavy dose of press releases, product reviews and media tours. I told him a lot has changed over the years, including the disappearance of many traditional, print-centric publications he was accustomed to targeting.
Over the past 10 years, public relations has evolved, along with journalism and the advertising models that support it. The shift to online mediums – such as news portals and blogs – in addition to the emergence of social media, has created new spheres of influence and influencers.
As I mentioned in a previous video post, press releases can no longer be considered the tip of the spear for your public relations strategy. They are still an integral component, but need to be complemented with other content elements that help articulate your story beyond text. Photos, video and interactive demos are just a few cost-effective tools that can communicate your message to the influencers, as well as directly to your target audience.
There is often apprehension when we discuss these relatively new tools and techniques, as people don’t fully understand them, or know how to measure their return on investment. As a result, they prefer to stay in their comfort zone of one-dimensional press releases.
Public relations will continue to evolve and unless companies can adapt, they won’t be able to effectively hit their target.