AJ co-founded TrendKite in 2012 and oversees all aspects of the organization’s sales operations.
It you don’t think the PR industry has undergone a huge transformation due to the importance of digital media over the last 15 years or so, you’re either very young or not paying attention. Just Google, “death of newspapers.” The images alone are clear evidence that things have changed. Social media and blogging have blurred the lines between earned, owned and paid media and conversations relevant to brands happen much more rapidly and on more channels than ever before. It makes sense then, that yesterday’s public relations best practices, might not work in this new digital paradigm. Let’s take a minute to revisit and update a few.
Old public relations best practice: Develop and work a media contact list.
New approach: Yes, you should have a list of known media contacts who are important in your space, but let’s face it, conversations about your brand, industry, competitors and customers are no longer constrained to a definable set of journalists with well-defined editorial calendars. Today’s PR landscape is enormous with global reach, niche publications, blots, comments and niche publications. Success in modern PR requires the use of tools that can monitor conversations happening all over the Internet and alert you to those that are relevant to your brand so that you can quickly and effectively respond to brand mentions or seize opportunities to offer relevant and timely story ideas.
Old best practice: Advertising Value Equivalency (AVE)
New approach: We don’t want to harp on this, so if you want more detail about why we think AVE is a terrible way to measure PR success, read this. Today, let’s focus on a better approach, and that’s measuring outcomes. In order to quantify the impact of your PR, you need to know if it is driving website visits, improving conversion rates, enhancing SEO and ultimately driving revenue. The advantage of tying PR efforts to quantifiable outcomes is that it makes proving ROI a much simpler, and more accurate proposition.
Old best practice: Create beautiful PowerPoints
New approach: Life is too short and you have too much to do and too much data to consider to do manual PR reporting. Today’s best PR professionals ditch the spreadsheets and slides in favor of automated, interactive, shareable reports generated by best-of-breed public relations software. Your reporting demonstrates the value of your work, so why settle for anything less than beautiful, easy-to-understand, visualized reporting?
As the world of PR continues to evolve to keep up with new technology and information consumption preferences, it will likely be necessary to challenge even more conventional wisdom and develop more new public relations best practices. We live in interesting times, so hang on to your hats fellow PR pros, we’re in for a wild ride.