It’s harder than ever before to grab media attention for PR-driven news. Even if you do earn coverage, you can expect to see diminished impact from that press hit. More PR people are chasing fewer journalists. Unless your company or product already has star power, it’s increasingly difficult to be heard above the roar.
These changes have been been coming for a while now, and PR professionals have tried to evolve. Many of us invested in social media — only to hit a pay wall as platforms changed their algorithms. Ironically, organic reach now comes at a price. So we sought an alternate route to market and jumped on the content-marketing bandwagon. There, too, we face tolls as publishers look to generate revenue from the virtual real estate they’re giving over to native advertising
Distribution itself has been one of the biggest challenges. PR teams long have depended on newswires, but they’re not as effective in the modern marketplace. Who cares if your press release appeared on Yahoo Finance or some other portal? Do you know which media outlets even see this? Most of them are glued to Twitter.
The marketing world has made content a commodity in the race to dominate social networks. The way we’ve always worked PR now seems outgunned and out of options. But we still can adapt. We just need to apply in new ways the same ideas that have defined our profession all along. This means taking a fresh run at the basics, including finding audience and telling a story.
Forward-thinking teams are learning they can break through and achieve their goals once they understand how people find, share and consume information. This knowledge enables them to adjust their budgets and tactics to align with prospective clients’ preferred information channels. Here are five ways you can master PR’s new rules.
1. Go forth and publish on social networks.
In the early years of blogging, our firm advised clients they could use that same soapbox to communicate. Today, social networks are overtaking the open web. They reach vast audiences with precise targeting. Those networks quickly are becoming the go-to places for news, too. If you want attention for your brand, you’ll miss out if you’re not on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.
Sure, many PR professionals already are all over social media. But getting your news seen by the right audiences — especially if your brand’s page doesn’t already have umpteen million followers — is another matter.
You need both paid and organic promotion to succeed, plus an understanding of the algorithms at work. Those wonky programs determine what appears in our newsfeeds. Their calculations are mysterious and constantly changing, but networks do offer updates and guidance. You’ll also find an army of reporters and bloggers who jump on each development with advice.