PR as we know it has certainly changed. Gone are the days of spinning a story to gain column inches, chasing down journalists and collecting press cuttings. In fact, many of the publications themselves have gone; and it’s not necessarily a bad thing.
Advances in technology have played a big part in the way we engage and those agencies that haven’t evolved have seen the impact more than others. Organisations complain about PR companies who ‘just produce press releases’, expecting more content generation and wanting their news to be shared on various platforms, certainly not confined to print.
Relationships between businesses and their audience have also become more open and it is no longer enough to have a great product or service; people expect to know the organisation, what it stands for, the culture and its personality.
Traditional story telling methods however, are still very relevant, they just need to be used alongside a more creative approach. Introducing strategic communications!
Considering the audience should be the first task when developing a strategic communications plan. Using research and analytics tools can help you understand the demographic of your audience and allow you to amend your messaging to increase your reach.
By utilising technology alongside outcome focused content, you can connect with an audience that are looking for the product, service or lifestyle you provide. Once you understand how they behave, you can review the methods of other organisations they engage with and replicate results.
This is where we come in, as a creative agency thinking like our customer’s customer is an essential part of our role. Buyers need to feel reassured a supplier will get it right first time and trust them to deliver, brand speaks, and strategic communications allows you to manage what it is saying.
Content created for the website blog and news, can be used as social media posts and provide material for press releases. News should be easily accessible to anyone who is looking for it but likewise should be placed in front of the target audience via engagement methods that take the concept to the market rather than selling them a product. This is achieved by understanding the behaviors of the potential customer and tapping into areas of interest for them as individuals.
Blog pieces and articles should not be solely focused on your product or service but on topics that interest your audience and attract them to your brand. One size does not fit all, and you should be specific about what you share so the market feels like you are speaking to them as individuals, solving their personal issues and improving their experience.
Our agency looks different to that of a traditional PR company, our team is made up of specialists in various fields. Strategy plays an important role in our area of expertise, alongside more traditional roles such as copywriting and graphic design. There is a coherent collaborative culture and designers work alongside writers to ensure the visual impact aligns with the written word. And most importantly, our team is flexible; although we have communication plans in place for all of our clients, we are regularly reviewing and tweaking to ensure full expose is achieved.
In conclusion, PR isn’t dead, but it has grown up!