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What is the current state of Public Relations?
Public Relations agencies have had to adapt to the digital age, but projected trends (like Techlash) suggest that the rise of experiential marketing has an upside for PR. In a recent article for the American Management Association, Amy Binder states: “The emergence of digital and social media has changed the way companies interact with the public.” While this change is felt across the board, it has especially impacted the Public Relations field.
She continues: “The marketplace has become incredibly competitive because different types of agencies now want to move into our space.” Speaking on the competitive advantage of PR professionals, she states: “PR has always been a two-way conversation, which has much more in common with the interactive world of social media than does traditional advertising.” Working with an experiential agency can help to amplify the conversation you want to have with the public.
What makes PR agents well suited to today’s market?
One of the factors that puts PR agents in an excellent position to help businesses in the near future is what the American Marketing Association calls Techlash. This study compares the trends in China and the United States and states: “The techlash is here. Over the next three years, many Americans expect to ease off on social media and games.” China, on the other hand, is a different situation. “In contrast, Chinese consumers foresee big growth in their use of most online media in the next three years but continue to shift away from old media.” Understanding this global pattern will help Public Relations professionals to know where to focus their energy.
Strategizing where to expend your resources in the digital era also includes who to partner with. What size agency is appropriate for your goals? Do you need to scale quickly? Will you need more personal attention? Once you have a clear goal, you can strategize how to get there most effectively with the help of an agency.
What is most different about Public Relations in the Digital Era?
Binder describes the history of PR:
Public relations was created in the early decades of the last century. But the PR agency business didn’t really grow until after World War II. The economy was expanding, the advertising industry was emerging, and media was changing. There was a new understanding that companies could get attention and build a reputation by what we now call earned media. It was a revolution in the industry, and you saw the emergence of six or eight large public relations agencies.
With the transformation of contemporary media, the concept of earned media has undergone changes. PR Agencies today have to understand a wide variety of media platforms to remain competitive. When it comes to the most effective conversion tactic, however, face-to-face encounters continue to reign. For this reason, it is essential for PR agencies to partner with experiential agencies to execute experiential programs. In an article with PR Weekly, Xavier Daurian states: “It is becoming harder and harder to captivate an audience, but experiential has this faculty to quickly create an emotional connection between brands and people.” Make the most of this opportunity by choosing an experiential agency that white labels work to expand your power without diminishing your own branding potential.
What kinds of experiential programs are Public Relations professionals using?
To best facilitate this kind of emotional connection, PR Agencies are getting creative with experiential. No longer limited to PR stunts, these agencies are able think about what the American Marketing Association calls Best Versus Next Practice. Continually thinking about the best methods of event marketing keeps agencies sharp and interactive. Thinking about what is going to work next means that you need people familiar with the industry trends. Contact us to find out some of the ideas we have to help you reach the public.
What resources are available to Public Relations professionals?
The American Marketing Association publishes an Annual “The Future of Marketing Report” which has helpful insights. PRs also can do well to work with experiential agencies to help facilitate activations. Contact us at any stage of your planning to see how we can step in and help you to make the most of your experiential marketing efforts.