So many articles and commentators are now saying the influx of social media platforms and content marketing mean the death of PR, but this is so far from the truth. In fact, social media and content marketing are actually key players in the PR of the 21st century.
Press releases used to be everything in PR. Whether the business was launching a new product, starting out or running an event, the word was spread via a press release sent to the local and industry media. Releases are still as useful as they ever were, but they have a much wider reach now – and they are called media releases to reflect the multitude of different outlets PR can now target.
PR builds relationships
PR was – and still is – about building relationships. Instead of building those relationships with customers and prospects via newspapers, radio, TV and industry magazines we now use all of those things plus social media, content marketing, branded journalism, online publications, podcasts, blogs, influencer marketing, and the list goes on. The real difference is how you cut through all the chatter in all these places to really stand out. And the answer is still telling a good story.
Use stories to reach customers
The key to good storytelling is finding the best way to connect with a specific person. A florist reaching a bride could tell a story about how they managed to find the most stunning peonies available in the exact shade of blush pink that matched her bridal customer’s wedding party. Or an aged care home can share a case study about how its residents were happier, more confident and needed less medication after taking part in a creative writing program where their work was published in an anthology and launched at the local library. These stories connect with prospects and help them see how they fit in the picture with the business.
So when you’re thinking about how to get your message across, think about the story you want to tell and then craft that story around the medium you’re targeting. If you have a specific publication you know your customers read you might want to think about putting together a compelling case study for a piece of content marketing, or if you have a new product about to launch and you know your customers will love it once they can see it in action then consider an online influencer campaign where you choose key bloggers in your industry to test drive your new baby.
PR is not dead; it has evolved and is still alive and well, with storytelling as its key tactic.