In our continued round-up of public relations executives on what the future of the PR industry will look like, some more thoughts of people we spoke to recently:
“I believe the future of media relations will start to turn from larger agencies to smaller boutique ones. Coming from agency life, I enjoy working for myself from my home office. I feel like I am better able to concentrate, collaborate with other media specialists, and be on top of trends within the media without the typical office distractions,” said Natasha Dressler, Founder, Natasha Dressler PR & Marketing.
“The PR industry has been changing for years, as the “news” industry has become more of a “content” game. While I don’t believe PR is going to fall to the waste side, practitioners who don’t know how to pivot their skill sets to the new ways of the industry will be left behind. It’s going to be crucial for PR practitioners to know how to shift their writing, pitching, and connecting capabilities to take the form of content curation – blog writing, social media marketing, affiliate relationship building, etc,” said Kimberley Ring, founder of Ring Communications
“While there is no question that countless industries have been hit hard by COVID-19, I believe that the public relations industry has shown itself to be invaluable in the face of this pandemic. Think about it: in times of uncertainty, people are looking for answers. They’re looking for authoritative and reassuring voices. They’re looking for strategies. And at the end of the day, skilled public relations experts know how to help businesses, organizations, and others clearly communicate all of these things – and more – to the general public in the midst of a crisis.
I work in the marketing and public relations department for a large school district. As soon as this pandemic hit, I saw the value of our work grow exponentially overnight. Whether it was in our district-wide emails to parents, press releases to the media, or website copy, the demand placed on us to communicate important information in a timely manner was enormous. And we met each challenge head on, over and over.
When it’s all said and done, I believe people are realizing that when a crisis hits, it pays to have a skilled communicator in your corner who can quickly do the research, make clear the complicated, and disseminate key points across multiple platforms. Though COVID-19 hasn’t been easy, I think that it has exposed, on a very large scale, the importance of what those of us in PR do and why we do it,” according to Vickie Pierre who writes and researches for the insurance comparison site, ExpertInsuranceReviews.com.
“For some time now, the field of public relations has shifted to the virtual world. The pandemic has only accelerated this shift. Separated physically, we have turned even more to social media and technology to help us stay connected on some level with other humans. This is deep emotional need we all have. Now, the online audience is now bigger than ever, but you need something truly valuable and unique to offer, delivered in a message crafted to resonate and inspire action.
Public relations is no longer one-sided, with companies blasting their message through mass media. Now, it’s a two-way conversation that hopefully leads to a relationship. Just remember, relationships involve give and take. Businesses are judged on how well they treat every single person who touches their brand. Companies must be just as respectfully responsive to negative feedback as they are to the positive. While no one expects a business to have all five-star reviews; they pay attention to how the business responds. Be quick and gracious, and follow it up with action. Don’t just pay lip service with how sorry you are or free giveaways (although those are nice) – let your customer’s feedback shape your business. If you continuously evolve to better meet your customers’ needs, and you will be rewarded,” said Carol Archebelle, Digital Marketing Manager of Foundations Wellness.