PR Predictions From SPM Communications, Marketing Maven & More…

SPM Communications, a PR and social media marketing agency, celebrates its 20th anniversary with new business wins including Spence Diamonds and RW Garcia, makers of better-for-you chips and crackers.

Everything-PR continues our round-up stories of speaking to industry experts on the future of PR.

Here are some thoughts and feedback:

“The pandemic has already refocused the PR industry – the future is here. While I would never say that this devastating global event is “helping” any industry, I believe this is the best time in our history to be true business advisers to our clients. More than ever, people want to know where brands stand and what actions they are taking when they are making purchase decisions. The future of public relations will be more about ethical leadership and helping brands find their voices. We can no longer stay silent on human and civil rights in service of not alienating a single customer – instead our job is to educate and help drive understanding. Leaders will be followed for their ethics as much as their leadership abilities. The pandemic is a call for agencies and their clients as much as it is for our nation to do and say more,” said Suzanne Miller, president and founder, SPM Communications.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has, without a doubt, helped public relations professionals, particularly ones just starting their career. This crisis was like no other and summed-up what PR professionals must do on a day-to-day basis — deal with unexpected and chaotic situations. What to say, how to say it and to whom — all questions that needed to be figured out quickly back in mid-March. Those who failed to do so are most likely those who have yet to recover. However, these PR professionals will learn from their mistakes and will be better prepared for future crises. Those who were able to craft and send the proper messages to their audiences will continue to develop their skills accordingly and learn from this entire experience as well,” said Sam Parsonson of seoplus+, a digital marketing agency located in Ottawa

Lindsey Carnett, CEO and President of Marketing Maven said “Of course, the pandemic will change public relations, in the way that it is reshaping every other industry.  Many of the projects that clients want us to highlight now need to be looked at closely to see how they adapt in a world dominated by COVID-19 restrictions.  As PR professionals, we also have to look for COVID-related angles to keep our clients in the media.  For instance, we just got a VFX editor on the Today Show discussing filming love scenes in the new normal.  It is up to us as PR executives to make the industry thrive in the new environment.  Media will always exist, no matter what the form or condition, and PR practitioners must work with media’s changing needs to keep clients relevant.”

Colin Trethewey, agency Co-founder/Principal of PRmediaNow Communications said, “The future of PR is always evolving to say the least and the past 5 months of the pandemic have revealed new challenges and great opportunities for innovative ways to share company stories. Our mission, of sharing our clients’ stories with their target audiences, hasn’t changed, but our methods have. Every day we adapt and evolve to deliver clients’ messaging to their targeted customers/stakeholders/investors. 

On top of our usual approach of utilizing earned/editorial news media via TV, radio, online, print, social media and influencers to share our client stories with their audiences, since the pandemic we have witnessed a significant shift in how we’re able to capitalize on “owned content”. By “owned” we mean content we create for the client where the client controls the messaging. We have been focusing on broadcasting out client stories on their own social channels. For example we are conducting regular interviews with our client CEOs and other exces and broadcasting on their social channels using YouTube and Facebook Live to get their customers involved in the conversation. During these interviews we publish customer comments on screen and we use broadcast software so our interviews on FB Live look professional like a newscast. We have had great success with this approach and it has become a valuable part of our PR offering – broadcasting client announcements and stories on their social platforms via interviews. Companies will always benefit from effective public relations teams. It’s up to us to keep on top of the trends and change with the times to ensure we do the best job possible for our clients. We look forward to the challenge and we are always looking for new methods and platforms to share client stories including owned-content on social platforms.”