It wasn’t long ago that public relations success meant getting your company or client’s name mentioned in a local newspaper. There was a clear cut path to make that happen which usually involved writing a press release.
PR expectations have now changed. With new trends like brand journalism, viral marketing and more, a win can mean anything from a media placement to a Tweet to strategic content — plus countless other possibilities that result in amplifying a brand’s message.
Today’s PR rock star needs to:
- Own a reporter beat
Most of the buzz about content from brands is focused on storytelling. The best PR firms are experts at story finding, which is the first step to telling a great story. 2016’s PR pro must have is the ability to find and evaluate stories from within their brand. This is exactly what a reporter does for their media outlet. PR pros who can uncover and develop compelling stories within their brands will be above the competition. In the content crazed world, only the very best material will make it to the target audience.
- Master content creation
The foundation of PR is built on the principles of good storytelling. At the very minimum, PR professionals should be able to creatively write content in a variety of ways including news style, first person blogs and listicles. They should know how to produce rich multimedia content such as photos, videos and graphics so that their content stands out in the age of scrolling social media feeds. PR firms equipped for the modern media age have production teams trained in creating this multimedia content. These firms are natural partners for brands that do not have access to professional production resources in-house.
- Incorporate heightened strategic thinking
Traditionally high-level management handling strategy while staff members execute are long gone. In today’s PR environment, everyone at every level of PR is expected to understand their company’s business goals and contribute to the strategy. Those PR professionals who can think about the big picture while also flawlessly executing their work will be positioned to stand out among the rest. This includes incorporating analytics. Before a campaign begins, forward-thinking PR pros focus on the goals and design the content to achieve the desired results.
Lisa Arledge Powell is president of MediaSource, a public relations firm that specializes in Brand Journalism, named Best Health Care Agency in both 2013 and 2014 in Ragan’s Health Care PR & Marketing Awards. She’s on Twitter at @LisaArledge.