Founded Blog, Founded Thinking | July 17, 2019

‘New world PR’, where everything has changed, but nothing has changed

By Rachel Kane, PR Account Director

Founded & Epson | ReadyInk

Public relations

(noun)

The professional maintenance of a favourable public image by a company or other organisation or a famous person

Some people have declared that public relations is dying. Actually, they’re wrong.

In 2016 we witnessed The Independent’s print edition cease circulation. This was pretty monumental and a sign of the times. Those times being a transformational change for media that has ramped up in recent years – more titles to make the move to digital only media include NME, Shortlist and Esquire.

There’s also a decline in the number of journalists that PRs can approach at publications, and journalists are no longer specialists, they are required to cover broader subject areas.

Team this with the added pressure to create content that people don’t just read, but really engage with, and it means that traditional PR has had to adapt.

“Today, people spend more time browsing online than reading, and when they do read online, only 28% of the words are likely to be read. To optimize attention, the more condensed the content, the better.”

(Forbes, What You Can Expect From The Future Of Public Relations).

Where public relations was once just about press releases, it is now all encompassing of content creation, social media and much more.

Two worlds have collided, advertising and traditional PR, and sponsored content and native advertising is growing in popularity amongst agencies and clients alike. Music to the ears of cash strapped media!

Public relations, by definition, should remain unphased. Storytelling is still at the core of ‘new world PR’, but we now need to tell that story in a different format, and quickly, to stand out in a noisy media space. A press release would typically offer the opportunity to delve into the detail, but when approaching social content, messaging needs to be to the point and scroll-stopping.

“To optimise attention, the more condensed the content, the better.”

(Forbes, What You Can Expect From The Future Of Public Relations).

A survey from the Public Relations and Communications Association shows there was a 12% rise in ownership of digital social media activities by PR teams in 2018, and 57% said most of their digital and social content is produced by the PR and communications function.

Many of our clients at Founded are successfully and effectively changing how they communicate with their key audiences – whether that’s through LinkedIn articles, blog posts or well-placed bylines, all amplified by social media channels. Take a look at the results we achieved with some fun animations for Epson ReadyInk here.

At a time where so much has changed, one thing remains true for PR professionals – the idea comes first.

Ideas that move people. Founded is founded on one idea, to Move People, and this guides all of our PR and content creation.

It is an exciting time for PR teams who are extending beyond the depleting media universe with content that has real connections with real people. In fact, this shift to ‘new world PR’ comes with great creative opportunities that extend beyond developing a media friendly angle. Sponsored content can often provide the opportunity for a brand to flex their creativity muscles with engaging shorthand style reports and articles.

Check out this example, that also makes use of an influential brand ambassador.

The icing on the cake

One of the biggest challenges of traditional PR, is that results are difficult to measure. You can’t put a number on how many people have read or seen your clipping in a newspaper. Digital PR, on the other hand, not only enables you to reach millions of potential customers with your storytelling at the click of a button, it also provides a plethora of metrics to track your success. Win, win.