PAID FOR MEDIA? BUT IT’S PR DARLING!

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The stereotypical AbFab PR ‘professional’ is a dying breed. In today’s market, sound communication experts are adaptable to the ever-changing and fast-paced digital landscape that engulfs the horizon.

It’s no surprise the PR industry is shifting – it’s only natural for a profession that’s more than 100 years old. So, it’s imperative that PRs modernise and change their perspectives – and more importantly, those of their clients.

In essence, it’s our job to create compelling, inspiring and interactive content – whether it be earned (traditional PR), owned (websites/blogs), shared (social media) or paid for. There will always be a need for earned media; no one can deny its power and influence – we all reap the benefits from landing a full page in a national, or a hit on that leading trade website. However, it’s more important than ever to think outside of the traditional PR box, as the lines between earned, shared and paid for media have become blurred.

Obviously, the way in which audiences view and digest media has evolved dramatically. There has been a major shift from mainstream communications, to individual, two-way conversations. Therein lies the dilemma for PR professionals – our content now needs to reach audiences on new digital and interactive channels.

We need to accept the fact that, as our campaigns become more integrated, the need for paid for content will be inevitable, as we keep pace with the new forms of media that are developing. The Wall Street Journal Social has stated that: ‘social networks take up the majority of an individual’s browsing time’. With this in mind, additional budgets must be considered before launching cross-platform campaigns to reach an online audience.

As consultants, we need to be abreast of the coming changes and be prepared to share our in-depth industry knowledge with clients. I believe that, as long as we have a firm understanding of how PR influences the multiple online channels, we will succeed. However, as professionals we need to be investing in our development and continuingly educating ourselves on the digital industry that is increasingly intertwining itself with our traditional PR landscape.