Evolution of PR:
Part II


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Public Relations Today

Today, public relations (PR) is all about using modern resources to create and maintain a client’s positive image and relationship with the public. As we discussed in the first part of this blog series (if you missed it, take a minute and click on this link to catch up), the PR industry was established back in the early 20th century, but it’s come a long way since then. The industry has grown significantly with advancing technology, and it continues to evolve constantly.

A notable evolution in the PR industry is the use of social media. Social media has completely turned the PR world upside-down; it has changed the way we consume media and opened many doors for marketing and branding opportunities. A major contribution to the industry is the ability for companies to engage with their clients by means of two-way communication. Customers can connect with brands’ content by liking, commenting and sharing. This gives companies the opportunity to interact with customers individually, which can increase loyalty, as well as see which types of content are creating buzz and generating positive feedback. Social media humanizes a company and, if successful, the PR game has advanced.

Another phenomenon in the PR world led by social media is influencer marketing. This new type of marketing is similar to social or content marketing, but utilizes popular content creators on various social media platforms for collaborations with brands, essentially using the influencer as an opinion leader or endorser for the product or campaign. An effective influencer has built a reputation for their knowledge in a certain area and has gained a large following of users that trust them for their expertise. This influence can have the power to affect purchasing decisions of others. According to Hubspot, 71% of American consumers say that they are more likely to make a purchase based on a social media reference. Influencer marketing creates conversations around your brand that can sway an audience in a way that the brand’s voice alone couldn’t.

The rise of data and analytical technology is changing the way the PR industry measures its efforts. Brands can quantify their success with social media using data analytics and social media measurement tools. These tools allow you to discover what types of content works and what doesn’t, helping to learn more about the intended audience. Beyond just likes, comments and shares, these tools can track engagement and conversions. This information can then be capitalized on by brands to make better decisions based on consumer behavior.

The public relations industry is constantly growing and evolving because people change and PR pros embrace the change. When social media came on the scene, these professionals fostered it into a tool for the industry. This platform now serves as an integral factor in the success of any brand or campaign. The open-arm approach that the industry has is why it has stayed relevant. As the world keeps changing, we look forward to seeing what the future holds for PR!

Avery Cohen

Public Relations Intern

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