Public relations today – achieving your goals by integrating digital and traditional methods

Public relations today – achieving your goals by integrating digital and traditional methods

It’s no secret that the face of today’s media has changed.

Media outlets are cutting back on their resources: in some cases journalists aren’t just required to source and write stories – they also have to be photographers, videographers, sub-editors and content management system operators. Not only that, the journalist is expected to have a breaking story online first, over their competitors.

This type of pressure is affecting not only the quality of journalism, but it also means that traditional public relations methods, like getting a story out via press releases, are no longer effective in isolation.

The way people consume their news has also changed dramatically over the years – more and more people access their news online, meaning far fewer paid newspaper subscribers.

And with the rise of social media, the concept of ‘open journalism’ is very much to the fore.

So how, in your business, do you accommodate the new media environment?

First of all, social media doesn’t replace traditional media – traditional media is still very important. But it’s much more powerful if your brand integrates the two.

Importantly:

Essentially, the fundamentals of public relations today haven’t changed. But social and digital media have given companies and brands the opportunity to understand and connect with many more people, groups and audiences than traditional media ever did.

Social media also gives companies unprecedented direct access to journalists and bloggers – just as we are able to target specific audiences.

Today’s public relations must consider both traditional and digital media in order to achieve business goals. Companies need a solid communications strategy. And within that communications strategy must sit a digital strategy.

Your overall communications strategy should consider:

  • Organisational outcomes, SMART objectives
  • Check whether your digital strategy supports your communications strategy
  • Understand your community(ies) – who are we talking to? Open conversation with them.
  • Know why you are choosing or building each channel (primarily to reach people, not just for the sake of being on there)
  • Is our content (traditional and digital) relevant to our brand, reflecting our key messages?
  • Listen, measure and monitor: and be flexible enough to change if need be.

If you’d like help with your public relations and communications strategies, or advice on your digital media, feel free to contact us – we’d be happy to help.

Written by Celia Crosbie

Celia is an award-winning journalist who has worked for newspapers and radio stations in New Zealand and magazines in the United Kingdom. She has worked in public relations in both NZ and London. Celia also specialises in digital media strategy and website copywriting for SEO.

@CELIACROSBIE