One of my recent favourite topics is to explore how PR professionals can create maximum impact and achieving great results, for campaigns using a blend of social media tools and good PR strategies and tactics. While I am exploring the new media space and social networks, trying out new tools and platforms for communications, I actually disagree that PR folks should drop everything and flock over and go ga-ga about everything 2.0.
It is true that public relations work has changed. With new technology and tools, we are able to make public relations more public again. It is no longer just reaching out to few exclusive target media. The Web 2.0 tools allow companies direct access to consumers and users. In David Meerman Scott’s book, The New Rules Of Marketing & PR, he wrote that traditional, mainstream and trade media are still important to a PR campaign.
I do agree with that point. While I am spending alot of my time online, as a consumer, I still love my glossy magazines. I am one of those who would flip Elle magazine and look at all the advertisements and read all the editorial features, simply because I am the target audience of that mag. I want to know the latest Fall/Winter bag and shoes and read about the Spring/ Summer 08 hairstyle trends. So, beauty products and fashion companies whose target audience fall under similar demo/psychographics as me will be able to reach us quite effectively through the mag. Sure, I can read about the new Prada bag online and even read reviews from bloggers but I still want to flip the mag and look at the beautifully shot images, printed on nice, glossy prints.
So, while everyone is rushing into the Web/ PR/ Business 2.0 spaces, I am trying to take a step back and consider again. One of my clients, dealing with jewellery commented last week that while he understands that there is a need to pay attention to the online space or other activities, he believes that good, positive articles about the company and product in targeted female magazines is more important and he thinks that this helps to achieve his marketing objectives and reaching his target audiences more effectively because of the nature of the product.
Again, I have mixed views on this but shall save the thoughts for later..
Many may argue that there are alot more to all these shifts in media and PR, which I am sure I am going to agree mostly. Afterall, I am the geeky girl who’s spending 80% of my waking hours online – blogging, updating Facebook, adding stuff to del.icio.us etc etc. But what I am trying to say here is, the traditional media still is, important in PR (2.0). The thing to remember is, tools and technologies, movements and trends change all the time, the basic PR skill sets of understanding your brand and product, the skill to engage target audience (off or online), the skill to strategise and integrate a campaign to get your key messages across to your consumers, understanding and know your key media (on and offline) are all still critical and required in the profession, before we move on to playing with the tools and exploring the shifts.