Public Relations is about reputation – the result of what you do, what you say and what others say about you – Institute of PR
It’s no secret that ‘traditional’ PR has gone through a period of significant change over the past few years. Methods of delivering press releases and media packs to journalists via post or fax are long gone, and it’s hard to imagine sending images on a transparency slide, not to mention measuring column inches with a ruler to determine the equivalent advertising value. It all seems a bit tedious and long-winded but this was the way things were done.
Today, PR programmes aren’t stand alone vehicles with their own set of goals, strategies and objectives. Effective PR should be integrated into marketing campaigns and overlap with both social media and online content to provide a combined method of achieving tangible business objectives that can be measured and evaluated. Thanks to the online and social media revolution, stories are now issued and often published almost immediately, offering audiences fresh news and the opportunity for media relation managers to ensure that their client’s content is hitting audiences faster and more efficiently than ever before.
In this digital age, PR managers have to respond faster than ever to keep up with the increased demand for 24/7 news and social media output, and we now have many new platforms from which to communicate through including blogs, video and mobile as well as a vast number of quality online magazines. In the past, online coverage was often seen as the poor relation to print and broadcast media, but today it’s paramount. Digital coverage allows us to reach audiences quickly and allows us to measure and track the effectiveness of an article against our clients’ website viewing figures, which is vital in helping to evaluate the effectiveness and impact of the articles that we place.
The prestige of appearing in a mainstream glossy magazine or leading business title still remains and despite dwindling circulation figures across many titles, we believe specialist magazines will still play a part in the mix. Of course these esteemed trade and consumer publications have had to adapt and move with the digital times in order to survive, and there are now many high quality online versions of the popular printed titles which help us to ensure we can reach relevant audiences and enhance a company’s brand reputation throughout the month (rather than drumming our fingers waiting for next month’s issue to land on our desks!)
We can no longer measure and evaluate coverage based on the equivalent advertising value and the industry is yet to agree a formalised evaluation method. Until then, we remain encouraged by monitoring rises in client web traffic following publication of any given article and look to the combined efforts of a fully integrated results-driven marketing campaign such as FIG’s highly successful marketing partner programme.
Change is constant and the PR industry is no different in that it’s constantly moving and shaking. It’s our job to keep up in this fast-paced digital age, adapt and learn as we go, while remaining loyal to the tried and tested media relations methods that lead us to the delivery of impactful media coverage.
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