Public Relations: the professional maintenance of a favourable public image
Media Relations: the relationship developed with journalists / publications
PR and Media Relations have long been intertwined; one leaning on the other to impact the masses with meaningful messages that resonate with the public. However, as the media landscape has altered, so too has the role of PR.
As the lines between advertising and editorial content in traditional media blur, so does editorial integrity suffer. PR can therefore no longer afford to be confined to media relations alone; the traditional, coverage-generating, ‘production line’. Instead, PR is at its best when focussing on the exciting and demanding space between an organisation and its public: Listening. Responding. Engaging. Debating. Agreeing. Disagreeing.
The evolution of the digital age has also been a major contributing factor to this changing face of PR. With worldwide, 24/7 access, available through a multitude of digital devices, the ability to consume information has never been so easy. We’re no longer limited to daily newspapers to read the latest news; we’re bombarded by snippets of news from multiple sources, from the minute we awake to the minute we lay our head down to sleep. In fact, only last June, Ofcom reported online media consumption had, for the first time, overtaken that of traditional print consumption. The growth of social media and consumer journalism (blogging, vlogging) have been huge propellants to this ever-changing landscape, and PR has never been more important in this digital media age!
|*2014 Survey of 4000 Consumers in UK and US|
What does this mean for business?PR is now at the epicentre of a brand’s marketing ecosystem; it’s the discipline that most closely aligns with creating and maintaining dialogue and conversation with the public.
As we touched on in our post Creating Conversation - the role of PR has become more than pitching news, it’s about generating communication that influences brand perception and awareness. To do this effectively, PR needs to be authentic, distinctive and engaging.
We're entering an age of savvy consumers and 'truth-telling' is key. PR is, without doubt, in the best position to strengthen the bonds between consumer and brand.
How? Through the very pillars of PR: by creating compelling and creative content and making stories contagious, through the utilisation of the PR mix: social media, traditional media (print, radio, TV), digital media and bloggers.