Don’t Count PR Out Just Yet

Don’t Count PR Out Just Yet image shutterstock 84527920 625x448Don’t Count PR Out Just YetThis is the third in a three-part series on what PR professionals need to do to keep the industry alive.

Ok, so you’ve been hearing about this Agency Deathmatch and you’re probably picturing a Hunger Games-style competition between the PR, advertising, social, search, design and digital industries.

It’s not to that level (yet) but if it was public relations would definitely be one of the first to go. PR professionals just can’t seem to master the idea of transitioning their skills to the digital-friendly world of inbound marketing. They’re so stuck in the mindset of procuring placements and hosting events that they can’t see they are out of tune with what the public wants: accessible information.

Don’t Rely on Media Outlets to Publish Content – Do it Yourself
The most important part of inbound marketing is content – honest, informational content that followers can access from their laptops, phones and tablets. The sad truth is, people don’t get their news from newspapers anymore. They go online to websites, blogs or social media.

Naturally, this is where you should be. Clients expect results, and showing them a front-page newspaper placement is nice, but the real impact comes from a strong online presence. Public relations professionals need to get their clients placements online, but you can’t stop there. Take the initiative to start a blog or website about a topic that relates to your client’s industry. This way, you can make your own content and not be dependent on media outlets to publish it.

Give Your Audience What It Wants
PR professionals have always been creative about getting attention. While most haven’t been as extreme as P.T. Barnum (at least, I hope no one else has tried selling tickets to meet George Washington’s nanny), some people still consider public relations a game of smoke and mirrors. In today’s transparent world, you have to give consumers honest information and let them make decisions for themselves. You can’t try to trick them by spinning numbers and concealing information.

This doesn’t mean PR agencies should completely abandon news releases and bylines, but those can’t be their only means of reaching out to their audience. Start a blog or online community and publish information regularly. Think about SEO when writing any content and don’t publish something just to have content out there. The key to making your content stand out is to make it different, and if you publish the same boring post as half a million other websites, consumers are going to write you off.

There’s still plenty of time for PR to get back in the game, but it’s going to take a concentrated effort to make the jump to inbound marketing. Take a cue from all of the other agencies that have integrated inbound marketing tactics into their campaign strategies and start competing with them. Don’t let the Agency Deathmatch be the end of PR.

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