In recent years, the Internet, social media, and PR tech advances have turned the Public Relations (PR) industry on its head. What once was known as traditional press releases, phone pitching, and persuasive speech are now tweets, instagram, and hashtags harnessing the power of smartphones, iPads, and other tablet PC’s. This rapid evolution might even leave Ivy Lee (“father of PR”) speechless if he could see his industry today. Here are five useful, if not mandatory, PR innovations.
Imagine a world where you could say (just about) anything and not suffer the social repercussions that you would had you said it verbally. That, my friends, is social media. In the realm of social media, you can get news updates, play games, connect with friends and family, and share what’s important to you. All of these characteristics make it that much harder to maintain your online reputation. Newspapers and television news may be on the decline, but these social media outlets are alive and well. This means that the use of such media is worth its weight in gold, in some cases, as opposed to more archaic forms of publicity.
2. The hashtag
Nothing has made prioritizing and searching for what you want within social media faster than the hashtag. By hashtagging a word or phrase, you are directing your target publics to your postings almost effortlessly. The only issue is that the target publics have to search for your particular hashtag to find it. Thus it isn’t foolproof, however, it has proven to be a silver bullet in some situations. For this reason, the hashtag has made our list.
YouTube has made it possible for people on the internet to get their point across in a creative manner. The sheer breadth of personality types that use YouTube is mind-blowing, making this PR medium the knights’ round table of promotion and insertion of ideas. Growing up in a digital culture, it has become evident to me that people love videos. Whether you are looking to watch a cat make a fool of itself or be inspired to the point of tears, YouTube is the place to be.
From mommy blogs to health blogs to travel blogs to product review blogs, blogging has become another targeted outpost for like-minded thinkers. Pitching bloggers is also significantly easier than pitching the hard news media, as they don’t really have deadlines and they are willing to talk about almost whatever inasmuch as it conforms to their mindset and values.
The best part is that their readers are usually people with similar beliefs and lifestyles, making them a captive audience to what the blogger has to say. It’s a small-scale opinion leader (or large scale in some cases) that is broadcasting to their markets on your behalf. Is there much more we could ask for in PR? I think not.
5. Mobile Devices
Remember the days when you had to be at your computer to send an email and visit Facebook? Well those days are long gone. Mobile devices have turned the key on connecting people to one another 24/7. Today, roughly half of Americans own smartphones and that number is growing. If you don’t believe that mobile devices have become a colossal innovation, let’s take a look at the announcement of the Pope in 2005 versus 2013.
Now that is a night and day difference!
Rapid technology innovation in public relations makes it difficult to predict amazing changes yet to come. We do know great PR pros must constantly learn to keep up with the newest and best technology and tools. This is yet another reason for emerging companies to stay focused on their core competency and outsource PR to up-to-date partners like PilmerPR.Share
About the Author:As founder of PilmerPR, John Pilmer, APR serves as a PR and marketing communications advisor for both emerging and established companies. He offers customers more than 20 years of results-driven business PR and marketing experience. John and the firm have provided PR consultation and campaigns for clients such as Mozy, Novell, AdvancedMD, Certiport, NextPage, ElectraTherm, Altiris, Avamar, EmergeCore Networks, FSLogic, INVISUS, 10x Marketing, MWI, Project Insight, REIC, Seastone, US Synthetic and Funding Universe (now Lendio), among others.