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The new PR: Mine data, use all platforms, listen and react

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Storytelling will always be the foundation of any good public relations campaign, but how that story gets told is changing.

Interpreting sophisticated data, content amplification and listening to your customers are some trends in public relations to keep an eye on and incorporate in your company’s PR campaign.

THE POWER OF DATA

Words aren’t the only way to tell a story. Sometimes, insightful data can weave an even more compelling tale.

Both business-to-business and business-to-consumer marketing and communications teams are using a number of technology platforms to generate clearer pictures of their consumers than ever before.

It’s incumbent on public relations professionals to take this insight and reshape their message and target audiences.

Too often, data are used by the marketing team to shape digital and ad campaigns but aren’t reflected in the PR campaign. Insights gleaned from data should be used in all forms of communication – online content, sales collateral, websites, advertising and PR initiatives.

Through data, public relations professionals can better understand their target audiences, speak to their pain points and communicate with them on the media platforms they most frequently consume.

CONTENT AMPLIFICATION

Consumers are increasingly visiting niche channels to get the content they value.

Ten years ago, placing a feature story in a top tier media outlet for your business would generate all kinds of traffic for your company. Today, there are far less outlets that will directly affect business like that.

It’s more important than ever to amplify the content you generate from your PR efforts.

In addition to pushing out PR content on your social media channels, good content – media placements, blog posts, white papers, podcasts, videos, infographics – should be an integral part of sales and marketing efforts.

Ask yourself – what are all of the different ways your company reaches out to potential customers?

Content generated through PR should be included, thus amplified, in all of those efforts. Amplification is all about maximizing the number of eyeballs on your content.

LISTEN BEFORE YOU SPEAK

For far too long, PR campaigns have been focused on talking at their intended audience. With the proliferation of social media and citizen journalists, rest assured the public is talking about you in some way, shape or form.

It’s more important than ever for PR professionals to participate in those conversations, address concerns, provide information and assess feedback.

Marketing and PR should work hand-in-hand to make sure your audience has multiple channels to speak directly with your brand.

The kind of customers who take the time to let you know about something that went wrong – those are the people who will be your biggest brand ambassadors if you address their concerns or incorporate their feedback in a timely manner.

The future of public relations is happening right now – even if only a small percentage of companies are reaping the rewards at this moment.

These examples touched are just the tip of the iceberg. Sitting down with an experienced publicist can put your company on the right path for a successful PR campaign today and tomorrow.

David Saba of Bethlehem is the director of public relations for integrated branding agency Garfield Group, Newtown. He has more than 14 years of public relations experience with a variety of clients across many industries and sectors. He can be reached at dsaba@garfieldgroup.com.

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