Public Relations in the Digital Age is an ever-shifting amalgam of tried and true communications practices and new and different methods through which you may connect with your target audience.
To maintain success, you must expand your understanding of current tools and applications, as well as which platforms and influencers are drawing your audience. And a cursory understanding of these factors is not enough. To truly make the most of your PR opportunities in the Digital Age, you need to understand both the value and the purpose of several evolving realities.
Technology Never Rests
If there is one pervasive truth the past four decades have taught us, it’s that technology will just continue to grow at increasing rates. The next big thing is already out there, and the methods we are currently using to connect with our audiences will shift dramatically much sooner than most believe. These shifts will capture some generations, and they will leave others behind. It’s imperative to operate with this awareness.
Something else to consider: these shifts will happen in fits and starts, not in smooth transitions. Remember when, not that long ago, broadcast media was king, newspapers were holding their own, and the internet was a novelty? We’re way past all that. Now, social media is redistricting media influence, and brands need to rethink how they’re using traditional media, because their audience already has.
Digital Consumers are Driving Trends
Not that long ago, no one cared what was trending on Twitter. Now, nearly every night on the broadcast news, anchors are reading tweets by newsmakers. Careers have been built and destroyed by tweets or social media posts.
The brass tacks here is that smart modern PR must include a thorough understanding of how your market uses social media – which platforms, when, and how – as well as what sorts of campaigns are more likely to drive engagement. Because, that metric – engagement – is fast becoming a golden goose. It may not be the end-goal moneymaker, but it’s the gateway to many different streams of income.
Direct to Consumer PR as Advertising
Where once communications departments operated with clear demarcations between advertising and public relations, those distinctions are increasingly overlapping, especially thanks to consumer-direct marketing and advertising on social media and the internet as a whole.
Social media allows brands to create and nurture relationships directly with consumers in ways that were all but impossible before. In addition, thanks to the growth of new communications channels and methods, story is becoming even more important to a brand’s marketing strategy. Companies are using brand crossovers, new media influencers, and a host of other approaches that drop the proverbial fourth wall between the brand and the consumer. Advertising is becoming more relational even as PR becomes more integrated into brand advertising campaigns.
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