Recognizing a World of Transformation in Public Relations - Getting the Upper Hand

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December 14, 2016

The world of PR is a place of transformation. At one stage, the use of a press release service, or distribution of a press release was everything to PR. Times have changed and purposes have changed.

Times have changed because distribution of a press release is mainly done online through press distribution sites like 24-7 Press Release Newswire services, PRNewswire and so on. No one batch faxes press releases to media outlets anymore.

Our team at 24-7 Press Release Newswire recognizes the purpose of press release distribution has changed, too, from poorly written, weak articles with too many links, to strong content related stories full of useful information.

While PR firms still create press kits and announce their clients' new products and services with the fanfare these milestones deserve, they now do it digitally and include social media and other content marketing techniques along with distribution of the press kit.

For example, let's say that a large-scale business needs to get the word out about a major upcoming event. Although their PR pros would still use a press release service to get the initial word out, they also would look to associate the message with a popular, influential blogger within their industry who has hundreds of thousands of followers. They would also look to incorporate the link of where your press release may be found with their social media. Popular places to post links to the press release would be their Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and LinkedIn accounts. If photos or videos were available to tell the story, these would be posted on the company's YouTube channel, Instagram and Pinterest!

PR has grown horizontally though different channels. Public relations agencies are now successfully handling many more tasks than they used to, combining social media with press distribution and content marketing.

Customer needs are changing. Satisfying those needs has become more challenging but the benefits have also become more significant. People are becoming more savvy and recognize ads as essentially spam, so while people are increasingly ignoring ads, they also are paying closer attention to good brand content that is useful and engaging--and that is still a primary responsibility of PR professionals.

All of this means one thing - content continues to be king. So how do you advertise to someone without advertising to them? You can do this by gaining their trust with valuable content. This is often referred to as influencer marketing.

Here is an example. Think about stories that have caught your eye on Facebook - video or text. When you came across something of particular interest, did you share this story or video? Why did you share it? What made that story valuable to you enough that you would share it? That is how you and others become what some call "an influencer."

Influencers are not built overnight, although being a celebrity helps speed up the process. Since most influencers are not celebrities, however, they have likely spent years creating valuable posts that people enjoy reading for either educational or entertainment purposes. To become an influencer, you need to find and share--or originate--valuable information that your industry needs and wants.

Once you find your niche as an influencer, you need to keep working on this strategy and repeat. Your followers will naturally start to build.