Public relations, or PR, is a key component of any marketing strategy. The Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) defines it as “a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.” PR is constantly changing and evolving, especially these days with the prevalence of technology and social media, but it is very much a living, breathing entity. There are currently more than 275,000 public relations positions across the United States, and that number will likely grow in the coming years. As advertising expands to growth platforms such as social media, the field of PR has no choice but to pivot toward and adapt to new methods of marketing.
Public relations is all about engaging third-parties to promote something, such as a company or brand. Over time, these third-parties can change, meaning PR also has to change with it. PR fuels the news cycle; without press releases it would be hard to get most of the news out to the people who write and publish it. In the past, PR was more laser focused on traditional news outlets, but now it has adopted a more multifaceted approach, encompassing social media, blogs, websites and more. An increasing number of people are getting their news from social media platforms, and PR has followed that trend with a shift toward targeting those platforms.
Though some things in the PR have changed, others have remained the same. The importance of a brand’s reputation was and continues to be a key factor that PR seeks to support. With quick-spreading content on social media, one negative post could reach thousands of people within minutes, tarnishing a company’s reputation. In this scenario, PR works preventatively to help these problems hopefully not occur, as well as providing damage control if there is an issue that needs tamping down. It’s important to remember that how people view a brand will affect how, or whether, they interact with it. Effective PR can help in all aspects of this.
Because social media is so readily accessible and more informal than press releases, brands can very easily represent themselves on these platforms and spread their message to their audience directly. Aligning messaging across platforms and utilizing a good PR strategy will help make sure your message is consistent and thorough. It’s worth keeping in mind that corporate social responsibility has become extremely popular; this is where brands can take a stance on social, environmental and political issues to make them more attractive to their audiences. A brand’s social media presence needs to be cohesive and strategic across all platforms, and this is where PR can help.
Public relations is never going to die as long as it continues to evolve and adapt to new technologies and norms. Well-executed PR establishes trust between you, your clients and your audience, and aims to increase sales and engagement. If you’re looking for additional help with public relations and brand messaging, rAVe [STORYTELLING] has proven success in strategic communications for the AV industry.