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Why It’s Time to Rethink PR

Jul 26, 2022 Laura Garofalo

Media relations ≠ PR

Sure, it’s a (big) part of it, but they are not the same. 

The comms game is changing and the playbook is too. 

Media relations is still the most effective method to build awareness and credibility, particularly with early-stage startups. BUT it’s harder than ever to break through with less reporters covering your space and an increasingly frenetic news cycle. And once you do, the coverage is fleeting. It’s simply not enough to get your story seen and heard

That’s why it’s time to rethINK PR as strategic storytelling across different channels to drive business outcomes. Here’s a look at the trends driving this shift (hint: it’s a blend of the established and emerging ways of doing things):

#1: MASS COMMUNICATIONS → DIRECT DELIVERY

While earned media casts a wider reach, companies must also lean on content marketing and digital strategies to amplify their thought leadership, stay relevant when there’s no new news and build one-on-one relationships with audiences. The more direct the better. So don’t just blog — consider launching a newsletter, building your presence on LinkedIn or adding a podcast to the mix. Your message, in your words, to your audiences.

#2: AUDIENCE DEVELOPMENT → COMMUNITY BUILDING

Today PR is not just about reaching new audiences and pulling them in; it’s also about nurturing the people who already know (and trust) you. Community building is more complex — it requires good intentions, consistency and commitment. Your reputation is your brand

#3: QUANTITY → QUALITY

It’s easier than ever before to publish on your own or launch a digital initiative. When everyone has a platform, great content rises to the top. Quality is performing better than gimmicks because people are overwhelmed with volume. Focus on one hub to create new, quality thought leadership content often. For us, it’s this newsletter. And then share that content in different formats across your other channels to amplify the thought leadership. Less is often more. 

#4: AWARENESS → ACCOUNTABILITY

Companies aren’t just hiring agencies like ours to drive awareness; they need help navigating the complexities of internal and external communications. Trust is the glue that holds communities—online and offline—together and it only takes one tweet to lose it. Accountability is the new awareness. 

#5: THOUGHT LEADERS → CHANGEMAKERS 

We used to say that your point of view needed to be rooted in data. But now, the stakes are much higher. Thought leaders need to communicate their street cred (experience + results) and the values they live by. Why? Because actions truly speak louder than words. Business leaders have an opportunity to use their voices and wallets to help make real, meaningful changes to better our world. Authenticity and empathy are must-haves, not nice-to-haves. 

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