Strikes, mass redundancies, skeleton newsrooms – in a world where there are more and more stories to write about, it seems like there are less and less people to write about them.
The public relations industry is experiencing a significant evolution with thinner newspapers and fewer traditional journalists alongside the rise of digital media and the tech boom. But at the heart of it, PR is still the art while marketing is the science of communication. And like with everything, change is an opportunity to do things differently and creatively.
PR is shifting from a focus on press clippings to online articles, from TV interviews to viral YouTube videos. But one fact remains the same – content is king. Audiences are as hungry as ever for researched stories, thought-provoking podcasts, informative on-air conversations, insightful videos, and real-world commentary.
Throw in the rise of social media, influencers and bloggers in recent years, these non-traditional content creators have incredible impact with niche audiences. Why? Because they can write, shoot and share engaging content with an army of engaged followers in an instant.
So, how can brands capture all the potential of this brave new world of PR? Here are our top 5 tips to stand out in the evolving world of PR:
- Get to the point: Journalists have less and less time to open large attachments, dig through emails, or interpret flowery language. Don’t waste their time and yours, be concise, know their audience, pitch in the frame of what the editor is looking for, and give the journalist the story opportunity in the first sentence and subject line.
- Think like a journalist: In the end, you are providing a service to journalists who are looking for valuable content. Send the media release, follow up with a specific angle tailored to the journalist, and make the connection how your story is adding value to the outlets audience.
- Scout for new content creators: Bloggers and influencers may not be trained journalists, but that they can be exceptional writers and photographers. Be on the lookout for early adopters, thought leaders and fresh voices. People with good writing and consistency when you are trawling blogs and Instagram accounts. Bloggers and influencers, like journalists, are looking for engaging content to share – so reach out to them and suggest an angle that they may never have thought of, to amplify your message.
- Ask better questions: Don’t just rely on media when you need something. Be of service to them when you aren’t pitching a story and offer your expertise, like making them a new connection, or your network, like suggesting a contact for a story. Often, media will remember you when you were useful and of service to them. Perhaps next time you run into a journalist or blogger ask ‘what are you working on?’ and ‘how can I help?’.
- Be genuine: Authenticity in what you say and how you interest with the media and influencers, making sure you’re authentic. Focus on building strong relationships and look for new ways to share good stories.