The role of today’s PR professionals is much different when compared to only a few years ago. The industry is noisy thanks in part to social media and the number of journalists continuing to decrease. But, for every challenge faced by a PR pro there are more opportunities than ever to succeed. If you stay committed to good storytelling and embrace the change, there are more than a few opportunities to succeed.
1. The decline of traditional media channels
Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, Reddit, VSCO, Instagram, Snap, YouTube, Musical.ly… if you haven’t heard of all those platforms it’s no surprise as the number of emerging channels is in constant flux and can be difficult to keep up with. No matter where you choose to share your message, traditional channels like television, radio and print media are merely places to start, but in order to be successful they cannot be where you end. A well-rounded campaign that includes authentic verbiage tailored to each channel’s audience, is absolutely necessary in today’s PR landscape.
2. Developing relationships with reporters has never been more difficult
A 2019 report by the PEW Research Center found that newsroom employment in the U.S. declined 25% between 2008 and 2018. This means that the remaining newsroom staff are covering more verticals and have little time to review the hundreds of pitches they receive each day, let alone to develop relationships with publicists. Publicists need to take journalists’ limited time into consideration when pitching them, making sure they are only sending the most relevant and newsworthy coverage to the reporter.
3. Consumers trust other consumers; not brands
Online reviews and social media have made it easier than ever for the everyday person to shape a brand’s message. The goal for PR pros should be to make every employee and customer a brand ambassador. Leverage the power of social media by developing a strategy for user-generated content (UGC). When your customers publish content such as images, videos, blogs, etc., they are increasing trust amongst other consumers and boosting brand awareness for your product or service.
4. Client expectations have never been higher
Sometimes it doesn’t matter how much you plan or how well you execute; for whatever your media relations efforts may not always be enough to result in big coverage. It’s important to set your client’s expectations early and often, while also providing feedback from the media so they have more clarity into why they aren’t getting the coverage they expect.
Identifying the challenges PR pros are facing today can help us develop a strategy to evolve and better serve our clients. By differentiating our services, we can create more opportunities to help our clients reach their business goals. It’s a win-win.