If PR was once seen mostly as a broadcasting tool, today, PR has transformed into more of a conversation tool, and that is a good thing. Many brands are still learning what exactly that means and are trying to find a sense of rhythm to their PR efforts. Most companies are still using PR mainly as a broadcasting tool, and by doing that, they are missing out on how modern PR can support their business efforts. In this article, I will go over five ways brands can tune into the modern PR mindset.
1. Create a conversation
In the tech ecosystem, we are constantly seeing startups announcing new hires, foundings rounds and milestone achievements. Now, that can certainly help brand awareness and is valuable in and of itself, but there is a way to do it more effectively. Suppose you are only going to the press to show off how much private equity your company has. In that case, it can be conceived as an ego play, but, if you do it subtly, and focus on how the newly achieved funding will help create a better product or service, then you are starting a conversation with your audience. Instead of merely broadcasting to them, you are opening up a door for a broader interaction.
Related: How to Get Your Business Better PR
2. Engage effectively on social media
Many companies use social media as an advertising playground, a channel for assertively pushing products and generating revenue. There is nothing wrong with advertising, except that people don’t like to be advertised to. However, they do want to be educated, entertained and cared for. Think about it, when you log into your social accounts, outside of getting that dopamine hit, you are looking to find value there for yourself and to create meaningful connections. That is why companies should utilize social media to engage with their audience and create content that is focused on giving value upfront. That value can be in the shape of education, entertainment or deep empathy with their audience’s pain points.
3. Build community platforms
Many brands want to build out huge newsletter lists and call them a community. Well, that is not a community, because all you are doing is broadcasting to your audience. Don’t get me wrong, newsletters are a great tool, but to really build a community, you need to build out a platform that lets your audience share their own thoughts, content and ideas. You can build a forum section on your website and let users be active participants in the improvement of your product and service. A great example of this is the way that SAP has created a blogs section on their website that lets its users share valuable insights.
4. My audience is your audience
You know how people say “My house is your house?” Then, that’s precisely how modern PR works. Because every media item is strongly amplified on social media, it creates an explosive ecosystem. For example, when you interview someone for your podcast, you are not only tuning in to your audience by sharing it; you are tuning in to his audience when he shares it. The networking effect is huge. The more you are able to create media coverage that connects you and your target personas, the more it will be amplified and the more value both sides will be able to generate from it.
5. Ask “who is this for?”
Modern media works in a more straightforward way than traditional media, but there are still several sides to take into account. For example, when you do PR, you are looking to hit your target audience, but you are also looking to provide value to the journalist. Everyone in this situation needs something else. The journalist wants a story, you want the platform and the audience wants to gain insights. The brand or PR agency’s job (depending on who is in charge of PR) needs to find a way to make all sides happy, and doing that can lead to much-elevated brand awareness as well as continued coverage. Strategy is essential, and the way you transcribe that strategy into detailed tactics that support meaningful relations with all parties involved is also essential.
Modern PR is about creating deep conversations with your targeted audience. It is about letting valuable interactions lead to better products, service and trust.