By Laura Crossan, Marketing Coordinator
In recent years, the landscape of public relations (PR) has changed drastically. According to a recent study from PRNEWS, there are 6.2 PR pros for every journalist. This implies that PR pros are chasing a declining number of content people.
As a result, the traditional approach of sending out press releases and banking on media coverage is no longer effective. And, following a global pandemic, we have seen increased furloughs, decreased budgets and massive layoffs – unfortunate trends that show no signs of slowing down. Moving forward, we must adapt to this new reality and rethink how we approach PR.
So, when is it time to utilize public relations? The short answer is when you have a story to tell. This could be a product launch, a new service offering, a big partnership, a milestone, or anything else that is newsworthy and relevant to your audience.
It’s also a good idea to consider utilizing PR when you hit key business milestones, such as hitting a revenue target, expanding into a new market, or launching a new product or service. These milestones can be used as a hook to capture the attention of journalists and your target audience.
When creating a public relations campaign, it’s important to maintain a consistent presence in the media. This doesn’t mean issuing press releases every day, but it does mean regularly pitching stories and contributing to relevant conversations in your industry. A good rule of thumb is to aim for at least one media hit per month, whether that’s a feature article, a mention, or a byline.
As for budgets, PR can be a cost-effective way to raise your profile and build your brand. However, it’s important to invest in quality over quantity. This means hiring a skilled professional or agency who can help you develop a strategy, identify the right media targets, and craft compelling pitches and content. You should also be prepared to invest in resources such as media monitoring and measurement tools to track your success.
At its core, PR is about building relationships with the public. In today's digital age, this includes not only journalists but also customers, influencers, and stakeholders. We have to find out if our customers really want to hear from us and what they want to hear. We have to constantly feed them meaningful things that they can use for their advantage.
To be effective in modern PR, we also need to focus on building reputations with journalists. Rather than bombarding them with press releases, we should become a resource for them. This means establishing ourselves as experts in our field and providing valuable insights and information that journalists can use in their reporting. By doing so, we can establish relationships with journalists that go beyond just sending out press releases.
One way to become a resource for journalists is to offer exclusive access to information or insights. By giving journalists something that they can't get anywhere else, we can build a relationship based on trust and value. This can lead to more frequent coverage and even opportunities for collaboration.
Another important aspect of modern PR is understanding that it's not just about getting media coverage. Our customers and stakeholders are also paying attention to what we say and do. This means that our messaging and communications must be authentic, transparent, and relevant to their interests and needs. By doing so, we can build trust and credibility with our target audience, which can have a positive impact on our overall reputation and brand perception.
Looking to the future, in order for public relations and communication to be effective we have to think outside the box (maybe even turn it upside down!). PR is about building relationships, being a resource for journalists, offering valuable insights and information and focusing on authenticity. By doing these things and doing them well, we can build trust, credibility, and a positive brand perception in today's increasingly crowded digital landscape.