It’s about relationships

Indeed, for effective PR today we need to understand technology and how to use big data, and it’s essential to have the creativity and skills for storytelling. But, let’s not get away from our actual essential talent…the ability to create strong connections. Since the dawn of this profession the R in PR has stood, and still does stand for, ‘relationships’. Sure, technology has changed how we build these, but it remains the ultimate objective of everything we do.

That said, in the minds of many outsiders, PR equals earned media coverage. This is not surprizing when you consider that traditional media dominated as a key channel to reach mass audiences for the past couple of generations. But it was never the be-all-and-end-all of PR; yes media relations are important, but so are employee, community, customer, investor, regulator, government and any other stakeholder relations you can name. And, more often than not, earned media coverage is not the most effective channel in reaching these core constituencies. In fact, often it’s the worst! That’s why today’s successful PR professionals are skilled strategists, writers, researchers, publishers, event planners, public speakers, production specialists and more.

To be successful today and for tomorrow, communicators remain multi-skilled practitioners. Earning coverage in mainstream media is still important for the same reasons as always…reach, authenticity and validation. But it remains just one communications channel in building beneficial stakeholder relationships. We still do everything listed above, but those PR pros who are not also data analysts, social media experts, content creators and digital advertising specialists will struggle and probably will fail. Digital and social media has overtaken traditional media as key channels in relationship building.

Knowledge is power. It was true when first said by English philosopher Sir Francis Bacon in 1597, and it remains true even now. Today, PR pros are armed with more knowledge, data and insight than ever before. We know stuff that few other professionals know. Data gives us insight into what our target audiences like, what they eat, who they know, where they go and even when they sleep. We also know how to reach them online. We understand how, and have the required talent and skills, to engage them.

So it follows then, that PR pros who know how to capture, analyse and build insight from this data are ideally positioned to provide informed counsel on innovative corporate strategies. Now more than ever before it makes sense to have a smart, strategic communications professional sitting at the boardroom table.

Leave a Reply Text

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *