10 Challenges Facing PR
Like all specialists in their respective professions, PR people want to know the “next big thing.” Rather than look for the hot topic or innovative tool of the month, public relations specialists should focus on the long-term and fundamental gamechangers that challenge the PR profession. In an article for The Holmes Report titled "The Winds of Change", Managing Partner at Chapter 4, PR Agency, identifies the following ten challenges for defining the future of PR. 1-The Mobile Mind Shift: Optimising PR for mobile means thinking beyond how your content will look on a smaller screen. It is a mind shift, Beker asserts, and PR must determine how client brands fit into consumers’ constant communication and reliability of mobile devices. 2-Hyper-personalised Content: Customers desire information that is personalised, sent through the right channel at the right time. PR must advise clients to shift from traditional channels to hyper-personalised and more engaging tactics. Examples of these tactics include Coke’s personalized bottles, Apple’s product engraving and Google’s Art, Copy & Code project. 3-A Industry: PR clients and stakeholders tend to look for support in their immediate neighbourhood. At the same time, understanding geographical and cultural specifics of different countries is central to learning the markets’ conditions. The solution: network PR teams in different countries to share knowledge and insight with each other for an effective, integrated approach. One example: universal PR measurement standards set by the Coalition for Public Relations Research Standards. 4-Real-time Crisis Monitoring: Nearly 30% of company crises spread internationally within an hour, and over two-thirds of crises gain international reach within 24 hours. Most crisis experts agree: it’s not a matter of if your company will experience a crisis, but when. Fortunately, comprehensive media monitoring services allow brands to maintain their reputation and quickly spot a brewing crisis on the Internet, social media, print, broadcast TV and radio. The key: PR agencies and corporate staff must act quickly when they identify one of the warning signs of a crisis. 5-The Death of Traditional Journalism: The role of media organisations as gatekeepers of information and audience has faded. Brands can take over the role of reporters and tell their own stories and news in an engaging way. 6-Transparency: The risk of a company losing control over negative news is substantial. Brands can only address and repair bad customer experiences and crisis-causing news with honesty and transparency. 7- Measurement: PR campaigns require measurement to demonstrate success (or failure). Clients demand (rightfully) to see results for their money. PR firms must commit to measurement-driven approaches. 8-The Power of Images: Image-driven content not only increases consumer engagement and retention; it also drives more sales. Facebook and Pinterest lead in most revenue per visitor among all social media platforms thanks to their focus on images and videos. Beker predicts next-generation press releases to be disseminated via videos and social media posts. 9-Brand Values: More companies are projecting their values in PR and marketing materials. Brands like Red Bull and Nike make it the focus of their campaigns. Companies are also recognizing the benefits of corporate social responsibility programs to elevate their values and give back to the community while doing so. CSR programs are effective: a recent study shows more consumers are choosing cause-based brands over charitable giving as their way of “giving back.” 10-Integrated Communications: Companies must tear down PR,
marketing and advertising silos to improve measurement and ROI.
Technology, globalisation, innovations and new media have changed PR, marketing and advertising. In a connected world, companies and brands can’t tell and live different stories on these three levels. They must provide the public with one face and one storyline. --