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Public relations has changed in these 5 ways

Public relations has changed. From looking more like advertising to digital media to better analytics to the global marketplace, the discipline has changed dramatically. Here are five top observations.

Public relations looks more like advertising

PR today looks more like advertising than ever. Brand content creation by any other name is advertising. The New York Times labels its native advertising in very small print as “Paid Post”. But it’s not always that clear. Readers don’t seem to care. In fact, BI Intelligence and the Interactive Advertising Bureau report that native advertising will generate $21 billion in ad spending by 2018 — more than four times that of 2013.

Social media means more “intimate” connections

PR is now working in a global marketplace. A small business in Austin, Texas, for example, can talk directly to a consumer in Beijing. The response is immediate and arguably more intimate. Messages are no longer solely shared through the media. They are delivered directly for an instant response.

Public relations campaigns can now be measured instantly

PR is more analytical than ever. You might think that a great proportion of your leads comes in through Facebook. But you find it’s Twitter instead. With analytics, it’s easy to turn your ship around. Check out Ketchum’s The Principles of PR Measurement for guidance.

The silo approach goes against the grain

Whether you’re a big brand or a startup, your best move is NOT the silo approach. Today’s PR should be wide open to learning as much as possible about digital and brand marketing. This will be easier if you work closely with other teams to reach company goals.

Public relations now has five audiences

PRs used to target only one audience — the media. It now has five: the media, clients, consumers, prospective customers, and investors. Through social and digital media, each can be  influenced strategically.

Through it all, PR professionals must remain adept at working closely with their colleagues on the digital, brand and advertising teams to harness new trends and technologies.