Is PR still relevant today?

woman reading newspaper in front of pink wall

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think about PR?

Back in the day we bet your first thought may have been ‘newspapers’, but in today’s world, PR is so much more than that – think PR stunts, personal branding, influencers and much, much more!

Now don’t get us wrong PR is still very much ‘newspapers’, however it’s used more as a strategic tool in today’s online (and print) media environment to allow companies to cut through the noise and create brand awareness by sharing the right content with the right audience at the right time.

Whether it’s an opinion piece in the local paper, a PR stunt like bringing out strawberry and cream flavoured Doritos just in time for Wimbledon, or even a heartfelt message from Tesco’s ‘Shop Local’ campaign, here are 5 reasons why PR is still more important than ever…

1. Messaging is key

Year on year, social media continues to grow and with this growth comes competition. It isn’t enough anymore to just engage with your audience on your social media channels or have lots of likes and followers – you need to stand out.

But how do you stand out?

If you’re sharing a piece of news, then don’t just share it on your socials, share it with the media too. Being seen across multiple media platforms – digital and print – increases your visibility and your opportunity to reach new audiences who may be interested in your services.

2. The importance of reputation

Reputation. The word often at the forefront of any businesses mind. Good or bad, a reputation in the PR world is a reputation none the less and when it’s ‘controlled’ it help consumers make a conscious (or unconscious) choice between brands.

This control doesn’t always need to be ‘good’, as sometimes ‘bad’ PR can play in a brands favour. For example, over the Christmas holidays, Prada sent several influencers a PR package of ‘holiday decorations’ and instructed the influencers to ‘accidentally’ smash them. Their followers looked on in disgust and quickly went to the Prada website to see how much they were worth.

What did Prada gain here if it looked like their holiday baubles smash easily?

Not a damaged reputation that’s for sure, but an increase in traffic to their website in a season where competition between luxury brands is extremely high.

So, take a note out of Prada’s book and think outside the box when it comes to PR ‘reputation’ in today’s digital world.

3. Crisis management

Speaking of a bad reputation, when things really do get ‘bad’, having a strategic crisis management plan in place is essential for both companies and influential figures. It’s a must to deal with a crisis with an ultra-quick response and finely tuned message before you become the next ‘cancelled’ brand or person.

Believe us it does happen!

Take KFC for example – when the company ran out of chicken in 2017, the crisis had the potential to lose the company its entire reputation. Fortunately, after quick thinking, honesty, and a creative apology (consisting of an empty chicken bucket labelled ‘fck’), they were able to turn the negative coverage into an all-time classic campaign.

4. Visibility

The rise of social media and SEO metrics have convinced some that brand visibility is simply a matter of numbers, however the quality, targeting and positioning of the message is just important!

An effective PR campaign can increase your social media and website traffic as well as engagement.

Just like Prada, Superdry’s ‘Tweet Fuel’ campaign drove an incredible amount of traffic to their website and socials, generating 2600+ tweets and 5.4 million+ impressions reaching an audience of 1.5 million+ people in just 5 days. The Twitter campaign challenged users to express themselves through tweets which were then converted into ‘fuel’ to bring the iconic Superdry Morgan 3-Wheeler roadster from London Superdry stores to Dover crossing through the English Channel to France, Germany, Belgium, Dubai and finally India, with plenty of prizes to be won along the way.

If only it was that easy to power cars!

5. The media

Although the industry is continuously changing, the media has always remained the primary influencer of public opinion, whether it be newspapers or social media. With 3.725 billion active social media users, an average of 142 minutes per person spent on socials each day, and 78% of consumers willing to buy from a company after having a positive experience with them on socials – it is clear this influence will only continue to increase!

What does this mean?

Well quite clearly, PR is still relevant today!

So, no matter how much time and money you put into your social media advertising, you can’t create an emotional connection to make your product or service desirable if you neglect your PR – we hope our points have convinced you of that!

What should you do?

Why not try out measuring the success of your next PR campaign through social media engagement, shares, high domain authority, site traffic, and conversions and see for yourselves!

If you would like to discuss your PR strategy, we’d love to hear from you! Get in touch today.