Thousands of years ago, in the depths of Egypt, Ptahhotep, advisor to ancient pharaohs, created the first-to-date piece of writing about the need to communicate with the people. Fast forward to today, public relations is a key piece in any business’s puzzle. However, some struggle with the changes of PR throughout the years and the technological advancements that now need to be taken into consideration to keep up with this growing and extremely important aspect of communication.
Back in the day, traditional PR consisted of phone numbers, reporters, mailing addresses and printing shops. In modern times, we rely on social media interaction, bloggers, email addresses, YouTube channels and web developers [to name a few]. The need for effective PR work grows daily due to society’s constant evolution and, subsequently, the way businesses must shape themselves to communicate effectively with their audience.
Keeping up with time and your business’s public relations doesn’t have to be a hard task if you keep a few factors in mind:
1. PR and marketing hold hands.
PR and marketing are not separate issues. Good PR opens the door for marketing tactics to stick. Both practices must be in sync — if you don’t take care of your business’s image and how the public perceives it, your marketing efforts may be worthless. In the digital world, especially, where everything from campaigns to reputations can snowball quickly, it’s vital to keep on top of your image.
2. Do not stop writing.
PR professionals are natural storytellers, and that story doesn’t stop after the press release has been published or press conference has come to an end. Build a connection with the public using the power of blogs. Good PR content progressively tells a story and shows expertise, and blogs are an essential tool to explore that. Through blogs, you can not only follow up on your initial story, but also react to public response. This constant flow of information helps your business build credibility.
3. Be a sponge.
Never stop soaking up new knowledge. Ever. Public relations tactics evolve every day, and you need to be on top of the latest strategies and technologies in order to keep up with the industry. Read more about social media tactics. Go to that lecture about SEO. Attend that demo. Explore new software and use them. The more you absorb, the better acclimated you’ll be to write something that truly connects with the public.
4. Be a social butterfly.
Modern PR is all about being social — online. Social media is one of the easiest, most cost effective (free!) ways for companies to establish meaningful, personal relationships with their clients. Interacting with and engaging your audience through forums, social networks, message boards, etc., gives your business a reliable voice — and builds trust.
5. Step up your SEO game.
Good PR work isn’t just publishing press releases and getting stories picked up. Aim higher than that. Utilize SEO to boost content with keywords and continue to drive search engine traffic even after the initial publish of a release. Build accurate and relevant content to encourage engagement, inform the public and build beneficial relationships. After all, the future of SEO is in the storytelling ability of public relations professionals to keep Google and the readers interested — not the technology.
It isn’t 2,200 BC, nor Egypt, or a Divine Kingship type of world that we live in anymore. But if the pharaoh stepped up his game throughout centuries, so can you.