Future of PR

By: Alicia Beard, WildRock PR & Marketing Account Manager

Public relations has always been about getting the right story to the right person at the right time- a mix of instinct, know-how and a good Rolodex. But like any industry, it’s shaped by emerging technologies, and in particular, the way social media and mobile devices influence our daily lives.

In looking at trends for 2013, a few things stand out, not only for PR professionals but any business that considers PR a fundamental part of its marketing mix.

One thing that can’t be avoided is we now live in an age of transparency where businesses connect with and communicate directly to customers. What does this mean for businesses? Better internal communication so that messaging and strategy across advertising, social media and customer service teams are cohesive. It also means that businesses need to be nimble by keeping tabs on their social media channels and being ready to respond when appropriate.

Another shift in the public relations landscape is the continuing move toward more digital outlets. One can’t fail to notice when giants of print media like Newsweek move to a digital-only delivery for news. This change means a couple of things for PR pros and businesses alike. First off, it means that success will more and more be measured by online metrics, such as unique visitors, page views and how many times a story was commented on or shared. Because of that, journalist will continue to look for and serve up more unique content than ever to their readers. Secondly, digital media tends to serve more niche interests to groups who are already passionate about the topic/product. This presents a tremendous opportunity to get your content in front of these groups by providing more targeted story angles to reporters and media outlets.

One more thing to note is that organizations cannot rely solely on social media for that direct connection to customers. While social media should be an important part of your daily PR and marketing bread and butter, social platforms can change overnight and upend your efforts, especially as they form new partnerships, like Facebook and Instagram. Instead, use social media platforms—Faebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram—as a way to start that dialogue. Then you can further engage your target audiences by linking them to your website, signing them up for an eNewsletter or registering for an event. That way you can communicate direct and began to build a lasting relationship with your brand.