As the importance of using less-traditional digital mediums in strategic communication grows each and every year, I’ve really started to see what’s knows as “the big three” start to fade out of industry practices. “The big three” refers to three tactics that have been used in the field of public relations for many years. These tactics are known as press releases, mass pitching/emailing and traditional hard-copy press kits. When it comes to publicity, many companies and businesses are still relying on these tactics to share their news or market their clients to journalists and bloggers. In today’s rapidly growing market, the standard press release and email blast just won’t cut it.
Now I’m not saying that using these traditional tactics are not at all effective anymore. These tactics are still being proven to be very effective for many organizations, primarily ones within the public sector. What I’m saying is that it’s essential that organizations do more. Organizations need to be turning their heads in the direction of more innovative digital mediums. In order to keep up with rapidly changing consumer trends, we must keep up with the rapidly changing technology in our world’s communication mediums.
I believe businesses should turn to social media and emphasize the importance of storytelling. Instead of sending out a press release, why not create a campaign with your blog and social media channels? Why not tell the story with a video to help bring it to life? This new model of public relations places more emphasis on storytelling and turns brands into journalists where they don’t necessarily need to rely on traditional tactics. Although, it’s important that PR practitioners focus on giving customers their own story rather than focusing on their company’s story. As PR practitioners, we are also storytellers. As storytellers, it’s important that we are telling the right story. Another rule of thumb I’ve learned is “if you don’t tell your own story, someone else will tell it for you.”
Today’s busy editors and reporters don’t have time to deal with the copious amount of email pitches and press kits they receive per day. No matter how good the story is or how well put together the media kit you send them is, you’ll often get overlooked. Telling a story through social media is a quick way to get news out and it has a far reach in getting exposure from many different publics. Investing in digital media will provide your organization with much more value and will give you the ability to see quick results from your strategies and tactics. Not being online is pretty much letting your competitors slide right by you. PR practitioners should strive to expand their digital presence as much as possible and show that they are keeping up with industry trends.