Preparing for Change in PR
Benjamin Franklin once said, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” Yet, few people heed his advice. Employees and management alike often view drills and preparedness plans as a nuisance – just wasting time on situations that may never happen.
So why bother if these events are so unlikely? What are odds of a small startup being sued for millions, or a mega-brand needing to issue recalls after all the safety checks during the production process? The odds may be small. But, the cost to the brand’s image (and bank account) is not as correspondingly small when disaster strikes.
Changes in Public Relations
PR specialists continually remind clients to prepare, but PR specialists need to take that advice as well. PR continues to change as technology, the consumer market, and people’s way of interacting changes. As a result, PR specialists must anticipate how these changes might present obstacles for good business, and how those obstacles can be overcome.
Technology now drives communication, and as technology changes, forms of communicating will too. This change comes in the form of new gadgets, new messaging apps, and new social media platforms. Because of this, PR specialists need to prepare to communicate via these mediums.
Technology not only changes how companies communicate with people, but who they can communicate with. For instance, should China remove the restrictions currently placed on Facebook, many companies would stand a better chance of connecting with the Chinese market from a distance. And of course, the first to market in any industry would gain the bigger and better advantage over other competitors.
Integrated Public Relations
Integrating marketing with public relations remains a tricky and even controversial topic in the PR community. This is in spite of the fact that much of modern day PR requires a mix with marketing to yield results. Activities like social media management, events planning, and video promotions with key influencers involve a great deal of marketing.
More progressive PR professionals accept this as the way forward. In fact, many larger PR firms like Edelman, Ketchum, and FleishmanHillard prepared for this growing shift by offering integrated PR or marketing services. More traditional PR experts criticized the firms for venturing outside of the “pure PR” fields, but these firms continually outshine most others, worldwide.
The Difficulty of Preparing
The difficulty of preparing in public relations stems from covering a wide range of fields like journalism, marketing, technology, and human resources management. As a result, changes in these corresponding fields can affect public relations for better or worse.
Nevertheless, experienced PR experts should keep a watchful eye and prepare to provide their team members with whatever training they need to keep their skill sets up-to-date in the constantly changing market. Otherwise, PR experts cannot keep up with the similarly changing demands of clients as they too struggle to reach out to and grow their connection with consumers.