The PR industry in India has undergone a massive revolution in the past few months, with the pandemic bringing in behavioural changes in readers and the drastic transitions taking place within the media landscape. The importance of PR and the value it brings to the table has now been recognised by brands and companies, both, and this has changed the role of PR professionals, entirely.
With this evolution, PR is no more a “by the way” activity, but is strategically planned and executed, making its way within 360-degree marketing and promotional activities. Public relations, today, holds as much importance as digital marketing, social media, and influencer marketing, and maybe even a tad more since it brings in earned media value.
With this rising demand for PR services, the role of PR agencies and practitioners is no more constrained to getting mere coverage for clients but has moved its focus on building a long-term brand, providing great recall value and recognition. Thus comes in the role of integrated media within PR. The goal today for any PR activity is to grab as many eyeballs as possible and get the audience to say, “Hey, I know about you, have read about it” or “Listen, have you heard of this brand or company, they are really good.” A third-party endorsement is what PR truly stands for.
To build a PR campaign, it is important to reach out to the target audience across multiple mediums, in a subtle way. A strategic combination of PESO should be followed to achieve it.
P – Paid Media: Paid media is using digital advertising, social media promotions, sponsored content, SEO, SEM, email marketing, and other similar routes to amplify the PR articles and media coverage, received via earned media routes. A timely amalgamation of weaving in paid media will help reach out to a larger number of audiences, thus creating a larger impact and brand recall.
E – Earned Media: Earned media means to garner media mentions, via regular press releases, thought leadership articles, and industry story participation. This helps build trust and brand recall within the stakeholders, and also builds strong media relations.
Also, with evolving times, the E in PESO will slowly and gradually stand for EGC or Employee Generated Content, which means content that is created and distributed by the company’s internal workforce – the team – the employees, across various social media platforms. Not only does EGC bring in the inclusion of the team but also works in building a good company reputation.
S – Shared Media: This part of the PESO model refers to using social media to share content and is an important aspect, as it amplifies the reach of earned and owned media articles. This can be done via various routes and platforms like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, emailers, influencer engagement amongst others. Again EGC, works really well here, as employees are the company’s true brand advocates and bring in much faith and trust value. Using network relations smartly, one can also get industry thought leaders to share the earned media articles within their network.
O – Owned Media: While this comes last in the acronym, using owned media is the first and initial step in garnering digital presence. Using one’s owned media platforms, like the company website, blogs, or owned social media channels to create original is important in extending the company’s vision and brand identity. A brand will always connect with the company’s owned media first, and thus owned media holds a lot of significance in the overall integrated PR strategy.
New age PR has many layered strategies and integrating PR routes, keeping a unified and cohesive approach, is truly needed to build a stronger and impactful brand recall. The challenges and opportunities which the new decade brings forth for the PR industry are exciting. To reach out to a vast target audience, having a low attention span, across multiple new-age platforms, along with keeping in sync the use of traditional mediums is not easy. It will be exciting to see how it unravels and grows in the coming years.
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