• The PR of Today and Tomorrow

    By Tseng Yi Ying & Eugene Chuang on January 10 , 2018

    In today’s tech-savvy and hyperpersonalized digital age, the PR industry is forced to evolve. Like it or not, the PR industry is going digital. With this, what are some of the impacts and considerations for PR professionals to look out for?

    1. PR Metrics

    Traditionally, advertising value equivalency (AVE) is used as a quantifiable metric to put a value to PR outcomes. This metric involved numbers and was appealing to the top management who needed to put a value to their earned media coverage. However, here’s the problem. AVE is a misrepresentation of PR outcomes as AVEs can be overestimated, underestimated or even, not accounted for. This is also why the PR industry is gradually abandoning the AVE metric system.

    Today, PR outcomes are better measured against three measurements. These are

    • Brand impact
    • Digital impact
    • Bottom line impact

    On the top of the funnel is brand impact, a term familiar to many PR professionals. It captures things like awareness, mindshare, and reputation. Yet, here lies the issue. These elements are intangible and have not been very well understood by the top management. To really drive home the impact of PR efforts in a tangible manner, PR needs to assess PR-driven traffic, social amplification, influenced pipeline, conversions, and revenue; all of which belong to the lower two tiers of the Communicator’s funnel (Refer to figure 1).
                                                                      

                                                                                                                   Figure 1: Communicator’s Funnel

    What does this mean for PR professionals

    The prevalence of going digital suggests the need for PR pros to re-look at their PR metrics. Whilst AVE is gradually becoming irrelevant in today’s digitized landscape, there is a need to take on other forms of measurements to better capture PR outcomes within the digital milieu.

    1. Evolution of the Press Release

    Press releases used to be the go-to method for PR professionals to get their news in the hands of the media. They were typically shared in bulk and waiting for a media to ‘pick up’ on the press release. However, long gone are the days where PR pros mass send their press releases.

    According to tech website Gizmodo, PR professionals in 2014 outnumbered journalists five to one. To make things worse, the number of journalists is expected to decline by 9% over the next ten years. Now, what does this mean? It simply means that the numbers are stacked against the PR pros as it becomes more competitive to stand out from the massive number of press releases journalists receive every day. It is no longer wise to spam the journalists which could further erode trust between PR pros and journalists.

    What can we do about it?

    Creativity, rather than quantity, is preferred as brands and agencies ‘fight’ to stand out amongst the many press releases journalists receive. The new alternative is to target the relevant journalists and influencers to increase the relevancy of pitches with outreach that is personalized. This can better ensure increasing response rates and earned media hits.

    Moving forward

    To embrace the digital landscape, PR pros will need to rely more on data-led tools and analytics for better strategizing so as to achieve better PR outcomes. Put it simply, PR has already and is likely to continue creeping its way into the tech space where social listening and the likes will gradually find their way onto our PR checklist. Till then, embrace the change!

     

    References

    TRENDKITE (2018). AVE is a Mirage: And Other Radical Shifts in Public Relations. TRENDKITE.

     

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