According to the CIPR, Public Relations is “the discipline which looks after reputation, with the aim of earning understanding and support and influencing opinion and behaviour. It is the planned and sustained effort to establish and maintain goodwill and mutual understanding between an organisation and its publics.”
Yet it seems that many PR professionals and content marketers could be forgetting this very simple definition.
Granted, a lot has changed in the world of PR over the past decade, and we’re seeing more and more traditionalists trying to stay ahead of the game by integrating their offering, essentially bolting on that of a more ‘updated’ approach. But does that give new age PR pros permission to completely shun the traditional ways of working without considering just how beneficial they can be for their client or company? I don’t think so!
Coming into the digital marketing industry from a strict traditional PR background, I’ve learnt how the two methods can blend and work hand in hand to achieve some really great success. This is why I can empathise with some of those frustrated PRs who currently work with single minded digital teams that want to disregard traditional PR completely. (I thankfully don’t have this issue!)
Many are now carrying out their duties with perhaps a tunnel vision, ‘out with the old, in with the new’ mentality, when in fact, there should be a selection process from a full list of the best methods of communication.
Here are three key traditional PR approaches I feel can be adapted to add success to any marketing campaign or strategy:
“A press release is a written statement about a matter of public interest which is given to the press by an organisation concerned with the matter”
An outreach plan, structured with a plethora of unique featured article ideas can be strengthened further by a relevant launch press release. Once you’ve established whether your campaign is newsworthy enough, (are you providing fresh information in a timely manner? Do you have some unique data to share or are you making an important announcement?) a press release could be one of those beautiful back to basics methods to help you gain as much press coverage as possible and should never be overlooked.
Reactive PR and News Jacking
“The process of injecting your brand into the day’s news, creating a twist that grabs eyes when they’re open widest”
In my opinion, no crime is worse to commit than that of not utilising your client or company’s in-house experts. This is one of the easiest ways to gain coverage purely by piggy backing off the current news agenda and providing a unique and authoritative opinion. The key to successful news jacking is a quick reaction time – if you don’t send the journalist your pitch within a day or two of the news breaking, it’s likely you’ll have missed the boat!
“A planned or public social occasion.”
In so many ways, digital has stripped away the verbal and face-to-face interaction that’s been so prevalent in public relations to date. Many of us hide behind our computer screens priding ourselves on becoming expert emailers instead. That’s why organising industry specific events can be one of the most effective ways to generate some much-needed facetime into your campaign – whether your aim is to build brand awareness or strengthen your relationship with other in industry professionals. Don’t get me wrong, organising and coordinating events can be stressful, but the long-term gain for your overall marketing strategy is often second to none.