Public Relations and Adaptability with Changing Times

It is imperative to adapt to the changes, for growth in any functional area. This is also true for Public Relations as a profession. Over the last decade, many revolutionary changes have taken place which the PR pros must be well-versed in.

Today the digital revolution has changed the face of PR. Traditional methods of creating stories by collecting correct information for giving it to media, were time consuming. Today, a short video or picture tells a story on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, as well as promotes brand awareness. PR pros in modern times, must be always on the edge so that nothing is missed out and any situation can be handled urgently.

Digital agencies have started successfully integrating traditional marketing initiatives. PR resources must ensure that all messaging, communication and content creation aligns with the long-term brand vision.

Prior to social media, journalists used to call in updates so they could inform the public. Today, due to the rapid response times and updates, the stakeholders can bring down a brand in minutes.

Today, daily and national publications and TV news channels are not the only important resources. Any social media influencer can tweet about a crisis or any other news to inform public.

Keeping in tune with times, a lot of PR pros are successfully erasing the fine line between traditional and digital and moving towards becoming creative professionals. Having said that, PR professionals must have clear and correct information if and when a crisis arises despite wanting to relay information as timely as possible. It is best to have correct and concise information prior to posting online.

Press releases often go through several layers of approval and take more time to draft than a social media message. PR pros must take approval to post a statement on social media instead of spending time on an entire press release.

Digital technology has changed almost everything about modern life from the way we buy our stuff to how and where we work. Social media and blogging have blurred the lines between earned, owned and paid media.  Conversations relevant to brands take place on more channels and more frequently than ever before.

Despite all these changes, the core fundamentals of PR have not and are not likely to change. Excellent storytelling, great working relationships with media and a strong brand identity have always been and will always be essential, but their usage has been altered.

Since the beginning, PR professionals have recognised the importance of developing a list of media contacts for pitching stories. This used to be fairly easy in the previous era as the number of media houses was limited and journalists tended to stay in one place for a long time. It was a relatively small and consistent playing field and the media list did not need a lot of attention once it was compiled.

On the contrary, modern media landscape is anything but small or consistent. The number of media houses has ballooned, bloggers and influencers are becoming increasingly important. There is a lot of shuffling within media wherein very often people change jobs and accordingly the media list needs to be constantly updated. Fortunately, modern technology can help PR pros keep track of who is writing about relevant topics. Basis this, they can pitch stories for their respective brands.

It is possible for PR pros to now measure outcomes like increased website traffic, better conversion rates, improved SEO rankings, and ultimately revenue. Earlier, it was not really possible for organisations to measure the contribution of PR in the company’s growth but today the ROI of PR can be justified as an additional investment.

Ritu Bararia
Ritu is a Corporate Communications leader, Mentor, Author, Public Relations Evangelist, Thought leader, Advisor. She has nearly two decades of working experience having spearheaded Communications, PR and Corporate Affairs with corporate brands such as Kingfisher Airlines, The Park Hotels, Bird Group.

She quit her corporate career in the beginning of 2018 to try her hand at various related things within communications space. She turned into a published author in 2020 with her maiden book ‘Little Joys of Communication’.

Currently Ritu is Senior Director at SCoRe and, Executive Director Communicators Guild – India (CGI).

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