The World of PR Has Evolved and Agencies Need to Keep Up with the New Trends
Anyone who is looking to expand their business reach or expose their brand to new people, should start thinking about a public-relations, or PR, campaign.
Public relations are a broad term, as they encompass many forms of communication in order to connect and introduce brands, products, and services to people. Agencies are well aware that nothing can foster and build trust the way a good PR campaign can, but if they are using outdated methods, they are certainly missing out.
The managers and producers that PR agencies are reaching out to via email are now inundated with emails from hundreds of other companies vying for their attention. PR today is a different animal and in such a fast-changing society, it is imperative to keep up and to think bigger.
Right before Beyonce dropped her Ivy Park collection in Adidas stores, the pop singer sent out iconic press packages of the clothing to A-list celebrities including Cardi B, Reese Witherspoon, and Yara Shahidi. Why did she do this? Because the fortunate ones who received the boxes went straight to their social media to flaunt their new goods which added to the anticipation of the clothing line.
Television and social media personality Chrissy Teigen did something similar when she put together a Cravings swag box to send to a select few people that included her cookbooks, cookware and more. Recipients included Khloe Kardashian and Shay Mitchell who took to their Instagrams to show off the products. The boxes were so popular that other celebrities had sent DM’s to Tiegen asking if they could also have one.
As you can see, modern PR has significantly evolved from what traditional PR used to be.
What was once a world focused on banners, television ads, press releases and mailed in pitch letters, has rapidly and transformed into one that now includes SEO advertising, social media platforms, blogging, influencers, celebrity partnerships, and even swag boxes like the ones Tiegen and Beyonce had sent out.
A PR campaign today will leverage all kinds of media channels, such as social media and radio, in order to promote and cultivate a positive perception.
According to PR Daily, focusing on the consumer is crucial: “As communications pros, the power of the pivot hinges on understanding our consumer. What are consumers feeling and experiencing right now, and what are they looking for, expecting from the brands they love?”
Consumers today are online and listening to the radio. Things are now mostly digital or broadcasted. Potential consumers are clicking left and right on advertisements and scrolling through social media pages as well as hopping from one podcast or radio station to the next.
Forbes explained it like this: “The voice of the customer has always been one of the most powerful concepts in marketing, and today’s social media platforms act as one giant megaphone for that voice.”
Nielsen has also said that radio is still the most popular form of media in America. Radio reaches 90% of adults aged 18-34, 94% aged 35-49 and 91% aged 50 and older.
While not every PR agency will want to send out swag boxes, they can start recognizing some emerging trends that define public relations today. This includes:
Utilizing Radio Media Tours (RMTs) – Agencies need to be strategic and with radio having such a tremendous market in and out of the car, utilizing Radio Media Tours (RMTs) are a cost-efficient way to spread campaign messages and stories. In a series of back-to-back radio interviews, RMTs allow a spokesperson to be interviewed by multiple radio stations and/or networks within just a few hours. They generally take about two to four hours of the spokesperson’s time, depending on how many interviews are completed and interviews are typically booked in ten-minute windows. Comparing RMTs to an audio news release or soundbite, they are also advantageous in that they offer more time on air to convey the brand’s story and message. Plus, this powerful advertising vehicle reaches morning shows, public affair shows, and are used as a way to disseminate a news story.
Collaborating on an Effective SEO Strategy – SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is now one of the most essential advantages a PR business can have. SEO specializes in identifying trending keywords and topics that are of interest and by providing this information to a PR group, they can work to provide stories that effectively utilize these keywords. If PR agencies create trending content, it will lead to search rankings increasing which helps to increase the click-through rate substantially as well. This means more publicity!
Focusing on Social Media – Social Media is now crucial in developing and fostering relationships for any business. Agencies can facilitate messages through content distribution, incorporate social sharing into press releases, and create and leverage campaign hashtags. Distributing original content on a social media post to a targeted audience is one of the best tactics for brand and product awareness. When people scroll through their Facebook or Instagram page and see an interesting story about how someone is using a product, it will spark their interest. Also, an effective way to integrate social media into a public relations campaign is by adding social sharing capabilities to press releases. An intended message can then be distributed online in seconds. Hashtags can additionally help to engage user/customer conversations online. Hashtags are one of the fastest ways to start “trending” online.
Developing Relationships with Online Influencers – Influencer marketing is a form of social media marketing involving endorsements and product placement from influencers. By interacting with influencers on social media, an agency can start to benefit from the influencer’s large and devoted following. These influencers have followers who trust them, and this can translate into sales for a company. Adidas is one of the most famous brands that uses influencer marketing to promote their products and to grow their reach on social media.
Considering that all businesses need public relations regardless of their size or industry, keeping up with relevant and modern methods such as the ones above, are now crucial to the success of any campaign. In order to secure the best media coverage and the right publicity, today’s PR agencies have to make sure that they are up to date on this evolving landscape.