Modern day PR, if not entirely different, has evolved enormously from conventional engagements. In today’s global marketplace, PR services are sought by prominent individuals, large corporates to even start-ups. It requires new strategies for an Agency or professional to instill confidence into investors and showcase being ahead of the league. Textbooks and courseware may not tell you about these new basics of modern day PR.
New Public Relations are not just about advertizing and promoting the client, this has turned into entirely differentBrand correction and Image makeover opportunity. Almost each successful individual or a corporate entity today, invariably has direct and indirect PR happening for them, either by using skilled internal workforce or by availing services of consultants. Fierce competition due to entry of global players and technologies has caused a significant drop in prices, and has started attracting even the budding entrepreneur, widening the customer base.
Here are the five approaches I am observing apart from conventional methods of Public Relations :
Use of technology : The Agencies and PR Specialists are upskilling themselves for the changing needs. The advent of new platforms like mobility, social networks and advanced IT-enabled research, analytics and implementation tools have further increased the gap. The access to free credible information has made buyer take informed decisions. Television, Radio and print media are no longer the only means as digital marketing is taking over.
Creativity : Creativity, as per me, has become the closest one word definition of this industry. With so many media platforms trying to attract consumer focus, the creativity in the campaign, event or overall strategy has to stand-out loud. PR specialists are seen drawing motivation from innovative ideas through engaging people even outside their employee base to come up with creativity. Larger PR firms are structuring innovative workforce attractive more and more creative talent to beat the trends.
Partnering and not Promoting : Biggest challenge faced in PR today is that, no company or individual would like to be seen as non-innovative because they are rendering services from a PR Agency. The world has realized that the image promoted can be far from real, and can be an expertize of PR Agency working with the brand or the celebrity. Such dishonest tactics have been executed by a few PR Agencies for their own benefit. Which brings to the need of ethics in this business, MYSTIC partnerships are the only way forward in such challenging landscape.
Non-affirmative strategies : Trying to downplay the competition or generating MYSTIC buzz is not new strategies, but are being used a lot more often by expert PR professionals. I am sure you can easily quote a few instances of individuals (like celebrities, politicians and sportsmen) taking on other celebrities and companies trying to downplay each other’s product or campaign, head on. Even concepts like Buzz marketing are back in business, where the PR Specialist generate fake grass-root movement giving an appearance of trusted organisations, while solely working for their clients.
Networking : In short, PR Specialist is nothing without the a strong internal and external network. External network often plays a bigger role which ranges from one-time actors to competing PR firms. A campaign should inspire the competition to engage and contribute rather than out-rightly challenge them. Networks are being established by complementing each other through sharing expertize, needless to say, ethics and morality are the crucial drivers to successfully create a robust network.
Edward Louis Bernays is said to have defined PR in 1913 as propaganda. This has been sounding disturbing to professionals like me, and I think the above changes in PR are for good. In short the industry has become more intense but not just a propaganda.