As we march into 2020, Tejal Daftary, Founder & CEO, Alphabet Media deciphers the evolution and growth PR industry saw in the last decade.
Is social media a comfortable space for you? Are you aware of the role influencers play today? Do you follow them? It is questions like these that point to the new wave of change in the PR industry.
A decade ago, the criteria for entry into the PR sector revolved around understanding the traditional press, awareness of general news, a flair for content writing and communication. Today an appreciation of how the social media works, strengthens one’s credentials. With the growing influence of technology, the industry has evolved rapidly which has shifted the requirements of the client and added power to the role of the PR professional.
Factors that clearly point out to this evolution are:
- Content: The heart of the public relations industry is content. The success of any campaign thrives on the research-driven data, quality, creativity, clarity, and newness offered in the content. That is where the core strategy is. Ten years back, launching a bed and bath brand involved the press attending the launch event, with content focused on the product. However, today the content not only revolves around the product, but also the experience the product gives. The narratives have changed wherein experiential storytelling is added to the product story. The future will see more of performance storytelling, wherein the content presented in the form of campaigns will see a mix of both, creativity and analysis.
- Content Presentation: Never before has a channel management strategy been more important. Today, the clear approach is to go where your consumer is. With technology and digital media gaining tremendous prominence, the lines between PR, Marketing and Digital have blurred, paving the way to adopt integrated communications in its entirety. Brands have realized that while earned PR is most valuable, owned content is equally gaining importance. Therefore, the industry is seeing success in many campaigns following the paid, earned, shared and owned model. A blend of the right content heard through the appropriate channels, contributes to creating deeper relationships, purposeful engagements and meaningful conversations with brands and their audiences.
- New-age Media: Earlier with print in dominance followed by channels, the media to be approached was very specific. In the present times, with digital play in picture coupled with consumer behavioural changes, the media landscape has changed significantly. Today, publications have launched web versions, opening up more campaign and collaboration opportunities on their digital mediums. The personal platforms of journalists from prominent media houses have become an equally strong standalone medium to communicate, with brands seeking an association with these trusted voices of the industry. The market that shouldered heavily on celebrities a decade ago, is also finding associations with bloggers and influencers beneficial. With this kind of trend gaining ground, a great deal of focus is on specialized and localized content, thereby giving ample importance to nano influencers.
- Technology – Technology has made news travel at the speed one could not imagine, because of which formats in PR have changed. Sharing real-time content has become easier, as technology has become cheaper and faster. Creating and sharing of visual content has gained a lot more prominence because of smartphones. Conferences that were once done offline, are now adapting to the online medium to make announcements. The rate at which technology is getting obsolete with newer versions hitting the markets regularly, it is hard to predict what next! After all, a new technology platform only means a new PR format.
- Specific agency formats: The industry has also seen a rising demand of boutique agencies for the qualitative, personalized and focused attention they bring to the clients. Thus, specialized agencies as professionals are earning respect for the strong research-oriented and sector-specific data they bring to the table to drive communications.
This piece is authored by Tejal Daftary- Founder & CEO, Alphabet Media.