The Evolution of Public Relations in Today's World
A couple of weeks ago, we posted an article that appeared in Forbes that talked about how PR firms have evolved and how they continue to evolve. Public relations used to just be mostly writing press releases and knowing how to talk to whoever your audience is, but times have most certainly changed. Now, you must be at the forefront of adapting to those changes or you will get left behind.
When I rejoined the private industry as a PR consultant in 2013, it was definitely a learning experience. Rather than just focusing on traditional public relations, I discovered that the trend was more along the lines of growing businesses through development. Sure, this still meant a commitment to earned media and being able to assist with crisis communications, which is where PR flaks have focused their energies in the past.
Public relations evolved since those early days and I found that it wasn’t going to be unusual for me to help our clients with duties such as writing business plans or providing content for letters. This was in addition to the content generated for websites or newsletters or blogposts. I not only found myself writing for my clients’ audiences but also writing direct content for specific people they needed to reach out to for specific objectives.
I even had one client ask me to participate in a walkthrough at a facility preceding a bid to perform services for that company. You can imagine how that went.
Most PR firms I know about have already evolved beyond the traditional PR realm and have branched out to perform work on social media, websites and whatever other areas are needed to grow their clients’ businesses. But it is proving to be a necessity, regardless of what size your firm is.
Today’s PR firm must know how to generate content, first and foremost. Not just for media pitches, but for any content that might be needed digitally. At Jupiter Promotions, I’ve written content for event planning, blogs, websites, social media, media pitches, earned media reports and for brochures, thank you notes and business cards.
Speaking of graphic design projects, the modern-day PR firm must be able to use graphic design software and do it well. And while anyone with a smartphone can claim to be a photographer, the ability to produce and edit videos is also a must. It’s nice to know someone who can subcontract with you to do that work, but it is better if you can do it yourself.
So, has PR evolved? Definitely! Even a small firm like Jupiter Promotions accomplishes big things because we don’t limit ourselves in what we are willing to do to help our clients. And we will continue to learn more and more as technology continues to improve.