Talks to PR Group Account Director, Grey Doha about the transformational role the PR industry finds itself in today and the risks that threaten its extinction if so said changes are not acted upon.
media, which has completely transformed reputation and crisis management for PR professionals. While both media and creative professionals advocate agility and real-time, moment marketing, these disciplines have long been embedded in the very nature of what PR agencies did. Granted, the tools at hand have changed; no-comment policies, public acknowledgement speeches and media clarifications have often had to be reduced to 140 characters. Press clips and media coverage estimations have given way to social media listening and reporting tools that generate a deluge of granular data assessing the actual reach of a brand’s messaging, the sentiment of consumers towards it and their engagement with its tone of voice. As a result, content creation and curation have become cornerstones of the PR agency’s role and scope of work, enabling it to transfer brand ownership to the public – whereas, a decade ago, PR agencies were often focused on doing the exact opposite of that and controlling a brand’s image and public perception within the confines of its own guidelines.
Going forward, the challenge for PR agencies will be to actually break out of their conventional mold and modus operandi and position themselves as driving forces behind the industry’s transformation. For the most part, the PR industry has boxed itself in as a link within the communication strategy chain. If it does not capitalise on technology, data and content to transform itself, it may very well be at the peril of perishing.