After more than 20 years working in public relations, I still get the unknowing looks when I tell people what I do for a living, and I get why. Public relations (PR) is a very nuanced slice of the overall marketing pie and most people simply aren’t aware of the subtle impacts that a good PR and communications plan can have on the general public.
When it comes to a fully baked marketing plan, PR may be an afterthought because it takes constant attention and proofing to be effective. But with the right pairing between agency and client, messages and storylines deemed mundane at first glance can take on a life of their own and benefit an organization’s reputation. That might sound tedious, but unearthing and polishing those small nuggets of information that can paint a picture of what makes an organization great is what PR pros live for! Forming partnerships, spotlighting employees or beneficiaries, highlighting innovation are just a few of the subtle ways to show the public the nuances of an organization, which in turn makes it more human and approachable. That is what PR really is and why the secret sauce takes a deft hand to create successfully.
Much has changed over the last decade, and especially in the last five years when it comes to PR and marketing as a whole. With the maturation of social media, email systems, and other digital platforms, the ability to amplify messages across multiple channels has also improved. This has opened a whole new horizon of quantitative data to be cultivated in support of the less measurable tactics that create a huge impact on the greater reputation of a business or organization. These new channels are ever-changing and have spawned opportunities for audiences and organizations to connect in very different, but very organic ways (looking at you, influencer marketing!).
To boil it all down, strong PR tactics can create effects in ways that may not be as in-your-face as a billboard or digital ad, yet have a subtle impact on decision-making and the public’s affinity for a brand, company, or organization. Like everything in our rapid-paced world, tactics must shift and so must PR pros. Here are five of the ways Agital PR experts remain nimble, but focused:
While it’s true that newspapers have cut journalists and TV crews are very lean, opportunities to secure coverage have not dwindled, just changed. Public relations pros have an even greater role in aiding our journalist friends to provide them with turnkey stories, video b-roll, photos, and more. They trust us to provide the goods, which opens up opportunities that may not have been there just five years ago, allowing us to tell our client’s stories more effectively, but still with journalistic integrity.
Once reliant on the all-mighty press release to gain media coverage, much hinged on one 500-700 word announcement. But in today’s world, many organizations forget about the countless other outlets that are out there that can be leveraged to spread a message. Between owned channels like social media, websites, intranets, newsletters, and more, a piece of content can live many lives. But don’t stop there: add in any partner channels and any supplementary paid channels you may be able to utilize to create a well-rounded communications outreach, all from one core piece of content.
As noted earlier, partnerships and the use of their channels to reach their stakeholders is an often forgotten, but a very important piece of the marketing pie. Having trusted, valued relationships with partner organizations, nonprofits, vendors, and others opens opportunities to not only strengthen or expand a relationship, but cross-promote each other’s initiatives, community-focused activities, and more. And don’t forget about THEIR social and digital channels to spread the word. Everyone is looking for good content, especially if they don’t have to spend time creating it.
It’s been said but is worth repeating that at the heart of marketing and PR is finding ways to connect with individuals and influence decisions. While this can be done in many ways, there is no replacing a good old-fashioned story or in-person event to connect. And as we all enter the very real, and very unknown world of AI-driven tools, along with the various ways in which social media has both connected AND secluded us, PR pros find ourselves in a more challenging environment where the human element and our words mean even more.
Consumers and audiences demand more from the brands and organizations they engage with. This notion is at the heart of Agital’s mission, and PR is a key component in helping guide our client’s corporate social responsibility initiatives to ensure they aren’t just checking boxes but truly living the ‘good’ they intend to create. It is one of the first things we ask our clients when engaging with them to ensure their CSR charter is sound. If they need help, we find the connections that boost their efforts from good to great.
PR is a mission-critical function, even though it’s not as blatant or measurable as some of our strategic services at Agital, but don’t be fooled, skilled communications SHOULD be a star ingredient in your recipe for success.
Have questions about how a strong Public Relations and Communications strategy can be a key ingredient in your organization’s marketing mix? Contact the PR pros today to get your slice of the public relations pie!