Long live PR

Despite the reputation and changing skillset, there’s never been a better time to be in PR, and here’s why:

• Our consumption of...

Despite the reputation and changing skillset, there’s never been a better time to be in PR, and here’s why:

• Our consumption of news has not diminished. It has increased. We just get it in different ways and from new places.

• PR builds relationships. In an age where markets are conversations, and against growing frustration with interruption advertising, PR can step into the light.

• PR is about sharpening messages and creating content. If content is king and marketing queen, then PR is the crown.

There is a window of opportunity for PR to take the marketing lead.

If social media channels provide the inflection point, there will be competition - creative, credible, motivated competition. The social web isn’t just disrupting PR. Other elements – advertising, direct marketing – are also feeling the pain. Each has its own take and brings specific skills to the party. Skills we must integrate and adopt.

But how? The first step is recognizing the need for change. The second is knowing the destination. It’s distant still, but PR’s role might comprise:

• Communications strategy and messaging – knowing what to say and where to say it (and why)

• Content creation and optimization – capturing those messages in compelling stories, videos, applications, and experiences

• Channel integration – selecting the right channels and harmonizing them

• Global coordination – doing this on an international stage

• Crisis communications – responsive when events go badly or misinformation spreads.

• Evaluation/measurement – are we doing the right things in the right way at the right time with the right results?

This involves many skills and disciplines from global strategy to tactical implementation. It embraces traditional media, analyst and IR but integrates social media, advertising, direct marketing, word-of-mouth, events, and SEO. It’s technical. It’s creative. It’s the written word and the virtual world. All of it aligned, and all creating and building relationships with the public. I call that PR.

Morgan McLintic, EVP, Lewis PR

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