Not long ago, or at least, before the advent of the Digital Age giving birth to Social Media, Digital Channels, and all these online information sharing avenues, the role of a PR professional was limited to preparing press releases, white papers, media tours, and all of the paper-and-pen tasks that were associated with traditional publicity. But as times changed, the role of PR evolved into a multi-faceted profession, tasks of which may not be boxed in a regular job description.
The job of the PR professional including only the promotion of a happy outlook toward a brand by establishing connections with journalists is a thing of the past. Today, PR professionals are dealing with social media, search results, and a user generated content storm that can make or break you on a daily basis.
The Increasing Importance of PR for Brands
Brands simply cannot do away with PR, no matter how much they feel the practice is dated or ineffective. It’s finding the right public relations professional that will give your organization a gold mine of opportunity. As the roles of a Public Relations officer becomes all-encompassing and dynamic as the challenges of a changing tech landscape, every brand could benefit from some professional communications help. PR pros these days are likewise becoming more and more competitive in their own field; constantly improving digital skills and acquainting themselves with the trends to create deliverables for their brand that are relevant and interesting for their target market.
The modern PR professional is vigilant about technology and proactive — keeping abreast of current events, demands of the market, and all channels that create noise for the brand – good or bad.
PR and Social Media– Way Beyond the Usual Press Release
Much of the modern public relations person’s work includes taking care of the brand’s social media marketing and representation– with the ultimate goal of brand recognition, resulting in revenue. Among the micro-tasks involved in social media marketing is infusing in the consciousness about the brand, to make sure they pop up first in the minds of consumers as the needs for the product or service arise. Considering this, public relations officer are expected to be quick about promoting the brand as news and opportunities arise; while having a knack for the creation of unique yet appropriate Twitter or Facebook posts, videos, etc. They are required to create “diversification of content”– ensuring that they’re wherever consumers and stakeholders may be across all channels and media types.
Paid Media vs. Earned Media
The challenges that come along with the advent of modern technologies and the means to promote brands with the recent developments in Social Media, SEO, and online publications; is reciprocated by a number of tools which could help PR professionals push their brand forward.
To name a few: Taboola and Outbrain. These tools help PR with branding strategies, by helping distribute content to increase viewership, leads, and brand visibility.
Outbrain promises distribution of your brand content to any of the web’s largest content publishers; namely, Reuters, People.com, and Wall Street Journal.
Taboola, on the other hand, is all about driving traffic to your website by recommending your content on Time, TMZ, USA Today, and Cracked.
Readiness for Constant Changes
Constant improvement, and openness to changes is imperative on the end of the PR professional. This willingness to cope with the dynamism of the industry is all for the advantage of the brand, embracing new strategies, thoughtful content, bylines articles, and everything else that might crop up sooner or later.
Digital strategists are likewise pushing PR professionals to be earned media experts; able to craft content with relevant keywords posted online to ensure better SEO for their organizations.
While it is not clear-cut as to where the job of a PR professional begins and ends; one thing remains the same — the job is about creating a positive outlook and experience with the brand, crafting a story that resonates with people. And of course, managing internal and external expectations when that isn’t the case – which in today’s content generating world – is probably sooner than you think.