PR trends 2017: Blurring lines of PR

PR has always evolved from chasing print media clippings for clients to securing a bite on visual media. But now digital media has changed the game forever.

PR has always evolved from chasing print media clippings for clients to securing a bite on visual media. But now digital media has changed the game forever. PR today is crossing over to its allied fields of marketing and advertising to conjoin and form a hybrid that can cater to the promotional needs of any company. This change has been brought about by the increasing advent of Internet and social media on the lives of consumers. If you aren’t on the Internet, you don’t exist at all. This is the raging new trend of the millennium and social media is its flag-bearer. The 450 million profiles on LinkedIn, 1.94 billion active users on Facebook, 328 million active users on Twitter–in addition to the millions on other micro-blogging and social media platforms–stand proof to the rising influence of social media.

You cannot reach your target audience unless you stay on top of the Google search results; and you won’t be on top of the Google search results if your blog posts, Facebook comments and Tweets don’t make the grade.

How does this connect to PR? Everything in the promotional space eventually entwines with PR. We need to understand how in the age of online adverts and digital marketing campaigns PR has been blending with various domains.

Content is your skeleton

High-quality content is a game changer in today’s SEO-driven content. Businesses that have a long form content and high-quality backlinks are ranked higher by Google according to Andrey Lipattsev, Search Quality Senior Strategist at Google. Today marketing and social media marketing have already stepped in to fill this need. But PR should ensure that quality content also follows the same route–bridging the gap between PR and marketing content. Good content can generate organic traffic into the sites and lift their search engine ranking. To succeed in the digital age, PR must generate quality content on social media, blogs and websites. It can catapult the ranking of the company on Google search engine.

PR, Digital Marketing and online reputation

Imagine you are selling a product and go all out on marketing. Chances are even when your online & outdoor advertising and marketing efforts pay off, the customer would first want to check product reviews. 81% of the customers read reviews online before making purchases according to Hubspot. Here is where your PR comes to play: A good set of reviews from reputed blogs, positive news articles on the company, a widely pronounced social media presence can make all the difference. Customers want an assurance that the product is good and the company has a visible presence in the market. Moreover, today’s customers also feel uneasy about bad ethics. They want to know where their money goes. Sustainability stories, stories on ethical practices of the company and corporate social responsibility all play a good role. PR not only fits the bill here but guides marketing too with such content.

Image integration

A picture speaks better than words. Per a Backlinko study, using a single image within the content can raise search engine rankings. Most of the content today is filled with pictorials. Also, content creators opt for certified content-shareable nuggets of content. Unlike in the past when only advertising and marketing teams cared for such things, today PR also pays the same attention to pictorial details in their online content. Besides, social media PR is never complete without graphics. This is where PR works alongside with the creative and ad agencies to achieve its goals.

Social media marketing or social media PR?

Social media marketing focuses on how the brand wants to be projected, but social media PR engages influencers to push brand messaging. But where do you draw the line? Well, you don’t. Both have a job to do and make a perfect soul mate to each other. Customers like creative representations of a brand but also want to hear what others are saying about it. This can happen on the same platform fusing both verticals and offers the end benefit to the brand.

The sweeping march of social media has made cross-field working inevitable. Social media’s multidimensional oneness has weaved marketing disciplines together for a better brand promotion

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