It’s difficult to balance new media such as digital and social with traditional media such as TV, radio and print. While it’s easy to grab on the next “shiny” idea, doing so may not improve your revenues and profits. One method of doing so is using public relations. “Public relations (PR) is work that helps a business or individual cultivate a positive reputation with the public through various paid and earned communications,” according to Paul Koulogeorge, Vice President of Marketing, Advertising and Public Relations at The Goddard School. Traditionally, PR worked through in-person engagement and traditional media. In current times, PR is worked using digital, social and influencer marketing to connect to customers and prospects.
Using Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing has been used for several years to offer social proof to followers. Initially, social proof was provided by celebrities and other famous people. However, it has morphed into more closely held groups with nano-influencers, influencers who interact with between 1,000 and 5,000 followers. With a smaller following, opinions and recommendations are viewed with more trust. In one example, H&M used Instagram influencers and polling to engage their millennial market.
Expanding Multichannel PR
While people do get news and entertainment from traditional channels such as TV and radio, they also increasingly discover information from digital marketing channels such as social media, streaming services and influencer blogs. Companies need to broaden their marketing to encompass these digital channels if their target market likes to use them. These options include the video and streaming services mentioned before, mobile apps, social media and new and upcoming voice search and chatbots. Younger generations are growing up with expectations of finding everything in online search, and they may never see traditional ads.
While most online content used to be written text, now high-quality content includes video, audio, and image content. Technology is developing rapidly in search to find these types of content, and devices to record these types content are improving too. A few years ago, it would have been ludicrous to take all your vacation photos with your cell phone. Now, cell phone cameras have capabilities as good as a stand-alone video camera. And that doesn’t mean that written content is passe. It just means that you can supplement content in any format with any of the other types. And you can use all of these methods of telling your brand’s story across several channels.
Virtual Media and Voice Search
Virtual assistants such as Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s Assistant offer new ways to search for products and services. Creating content that is easily picked up by these voice search mechanisms can only boost engagement with anyone who uses them. Voice search will continue growing as technology improves how it operates.
Tracking Results with Metrics
PR is traditionally difficult to track to determine which methods offer effective results. However, modern tracking methods have broken through this barrier allowing companies to measure results more accurately. Online metrics can measure how many users visit a page, how they behave once they’ve visited, where they go after landing there and how well their visit is converting. Additionally, you can learn the demographics of your visitors to determine if your message is reaching the right market. These metrics make PR much more effective and can prove the usefulness of PR to company budget hawks.