The process of human communications is in a state of flux, now more than ever. Even as our modes of communication change and evolve, the mainstream media and the end audience cannot remain untouched by the phenomenon.
Media outlets and news publications are constantly reinventing their revenue models, and the common man on the street is constantly adjusting to newer, more advanced means of connecting to the world around them.
These changes should form the basis of the practices you include in your PR strategies, because whether or not you are a digital adopter, staying ahead of the curve is no longer a choice but a pre-requisite for success. Youâ€™ve got to do it. Sooner, the better.
Here are the five best practices you must turn to pack the maximum punch in your PR efforts:
- Focus on the New Media
The good old press release is officially dead, well almost. Unless you are working for a business giant, like say Apple, that is capable of sending the media in a tizzy over every little development, you will have to work a lot harder than just sending out press releases to all the journalists and media houses in your contact list.
It is critical for PR professionals to embrace new ways of getting news out and making it reach the desired audience base. Turning to social media and tapping its immense potential is generating the right buzz is the first step in this direction. Relying on engaging visual content and developing associations with media influencers and industry leaders are some other tweaks in a PR strategy that will help you get noticed.
- Work with Influencers
Third-party credibility has been a tried and tested marketing strategy, for as long as one can remember. Getting a neutral party to endorse a product or brand has never been easier than it is in the era of social media and blogging. Influencers no longer have to be celebrities or public figures.
The rise of self-published platforms and social media sites has given rise to a new crop of opinion influencers â€“ those whose published content and online identities carry an impressive clout among their audiences. As PR professionals, these are the people you must seek to collaborate with to swing public opinion in favor of the brands you are working for.
- Be Prepared to Give Reasons, Explanations
Technology has paved way for a world of watchdogs, where every miniscule move can be put under the lens for scrutiny and criticism. Customers want brands they associate with to raise the bar in terms of customer service, and also portray a humane side to their identities.
One instance of compromised quality or inefficient customer service can lead to viral videos on YouTube and Twitter hashtags. PR professionals must accept that it is nearly impossible to mask inefficiencies in todayâ€™s time and age.
The brands you work with are going to have their share of shortcomings and errors, and it is your job to tackle negative publicity in way that it can used to your advantage.
- Content Amplification over Advertising
Irrespective of the media you are working with â€“ print, electronic or digital â€“ the audience today are more captivated by meaningful content than in-your-face advertising campaigns. You have to break-free from the school-taught approach of capturing the audiencesâ€™ imagination with catchy slogans.
From interactive social media campaigns to video series and informative, organic content, PR professionals have to constantly come up with novel and customized techniques to engage with the target audience. In a nutshell, content is the buzz word in modern day PR strategies.
If you can give your audience quality content they can relate to, leveraging on its amplification becomes that much easier. This means getting through to a wider audience base with minimal effort.
- Managing Online Reputation
What Google says (or does not say) about a brand has far-reaching implications on its market image. Anyone looking to collaborate with a brand or business â€“ be it as a customer, investor or stakeholder â€“ is sure to run a quick internet search to see what the online world has to say about it.
Quantifiable content about a particular brand on the internet essentially translates into a test of credibility of sorts. On the flip side, lack of content or presence of negative content can be a huge dent in the image building process.
Therefore, managing online reputations must be an integral part of PR practices in modern times.