PR Has Never Been More Important
Some believe public relations has seen its best days. In fact, in a recent study, more than 70% of PR pros don’t think the term public relations as defined today will describe the work they will be doing in 5 years (Source: State of PR 2021, PR WEEK).
In my mind, the goal of public relations is to relate with the public, not just journalists and media. It’s easy to get caught up in the glam of media relations, but the best PR works toward public impressions. While some may believe that PR is getting a smaller role in this digital age, I believe PR is deeper and wider than it has ever been. Today there is just more media and it is more complex. There are news aggregators such as Apple News. There is the rise of the data journalists such as eMarketer, Statista, Pew Research and Marketing Charts.
The biggest change is the need to go directly to the consumer or audience. Experiential PR, list development, profile panels, message houses…the list goes on and on. There is also the fact that consumers have a lot of control and many vehicles to talk directly with businesses, nonprofits and audiences. In other words, don’t make someone with 5,000 Facebook friends unhappy.
The need for PR has never been greater. Realizing that need before a communications catastrophe is the real hard part of PR. No matter what you call it, PR is more than a crisis tool. It is a planning tool, to help you mitigate future issues. That’s why the research found that strategic planning was the number one skill for future success.
Mark Mathis III is chief creative & strategy officer, partner and cofounder of AMPERAGE Marketing & Fundraising.