Public relations is about storytelling through communication campaigns. This blog was supposed to be FUTURE OF PUBLIC RELATIONS, but towards conclusion realized, that title needs to change. Was doing research using Google to find thoughts of PR professionals on “Future of PR” and was surprised to see 20, 70, 00,000 results. The topic surely seems to BE OF interest for people from and outside the communication industry, as it has become debatable after social media. This also made me quite curious to find which elements have influenced interest of marketing – communication fraternity, after more in-depth research tumbled on the principles of web 2.0 which offered stakeholders opportunity to become publishers.
Public Relations in the age of web 2.0 can be divided into three areas, based on specialization
- Traditional PR
- Advocacy PR
- Social Media.
For better insights visit – Forbes
- Traditional PR is what has been practiced by most PR professionals, working on communication strategy for corporates and brands. It still operates on press releases, press conferences, media relations and tracking of news coverage for measurement.
- Advocacy PR is important element for large brands, celebs, politicians and lobbyists. It combines ideologies of public relations, social media, SEO, events, advertising and lobbying to push specific communication to stakeholders in large volumes to change perspective or establish a new one. Advocacy is about pumping media, blogs, initiating discussions on different levels from NGOs to Religion and from corporate to stock market with content like comments, writing blogs, and crafted talking points. Indians can recollect strategy implemented by Narendra Modi of NDA govt for winning elections 2014. The campaign in initial phase focused on pumping content, but slowly turned its focus towards crowd-sourcing of messages as crafted talking points were already available to stakeholders.
- Social media offers tools to amplify message of campaigns taking them viral. Being the most preferred tool used by communication professionals, it gives the power of publishing and also has best monitoring / tracking systems than any other form of communication.
Digital disruption in communication sector has changed how public relation agencies are perceived by clients. Public relations professionals have become educators from consultants. As agencies have to wear hat of becoming educator to educate clients about new technologies and its impact on brands before initiating campaigns. The change hasn’t been just on communication front, but also in broadcasting end within the community of stakeholders, as self – publishing have given rise to bloggers. This has put more pressure for public relations as customers are self – publishing in real time and traditional strategies to deal with journalists aren’t applicable to bloggers. Deadlines have become shorter and one social media day is 8 hours not 24 hours.
This brings me to the conclusion that Social Media has made Public Relations change from just being a medium of announcement, it’s now about participation with stakeholders.