Oct 02, 2018 / in Comms Best Practices / by Tony Hardman

We all know that PR is much more than media relations, but earning coverage still matters. Unfortunately, with diminishing newsrooms and the ever-changing media landscape, building relationships with journalists and securing media placements is more challenging than ever. This means that comms pros must work harder to ensure the success of any given campaign. It also means that campaigns need to be integrated and promoted across marketing teams. But, where should you start? 

Jay Baer, founder of Convince & Convert and New York Times bestselling author created the Modern Communicator Video Series to explain how new technology and skills can help you become a modern communicator. 

Modern communicators follow the TEAM model:

  • Targeted — No more “all coverage is good coverage.” The modern communicator cares about earned attention only in the places and among the people where it moves the needle.
  • Evolved — No more going it alone. Today’s modern communicator works side by side with brand, digital, lead gen, CX and other functions as part of a holistic approach.
  • Agile — No more super long lead times. The modern communicator knows that earned attention is accrued at the speed of a tweet, and modifies his or her approach and can launch and/or modify initiatives in real-time, using advanced listening technology as a guide.
  • Measured — Advertising (and more recently, digital) grabbed the preponderance of budget because it told a better measurement story in the boardroom. No more. The modern communicator uses advanced tracking to determine and report on exactly who is influenced by earned attention — especially online — and can demonstrate the true bottom-line impact, just like peers in other marketing and comms disciplines.

The third video in the series is Evolved. Watch the video, or read the transcript, below to learn how you can work better with other teams to ultimately earn better PR results. And you can watch the entire video series by clicking here. Be sure to check back in with the Cision blog every Tuesday to find the latest video. 

Jay Baer: Hi I’m Jay Baer, founder of Convince & Convert, and this is the Modern Communicators video series, from Cision. 

While communications professionals know there’s more to the discipline than media relations – much more – the fact remains that the ability to create and shape coverage remains a fundamental pillar of comms.

But since the days of papyrus scrolls, the ability to get ink has been driven – at least in part – by relationships with journalists that have been developed and cultivated by communications pros.

But the number of newsroom jobs for journalists has declined by more than half in just 15 years. In today’s landscape, the practical power of relationships with the media is greatly diminished.

Today, the Modern Communicator can no longer operate in a silo, courting the working press while advertising, marketing, digital and other related disciplines turn out measured, integrated initiatives powered by data.

The Modern Communicator is all about TEAM, and E in that acronym stands for Evolved.

Today, communications isn’t really “communications” at all … it’s Earned Media Management; the entire collection of strategic, operational, and tactical efforts used to create awareness and cause measurable behavior.

The evolution from “media relations,” “PR,” and even “communications” to Earned Media Management requires Modern Communicators to work far more closely with their brethren in related disciplines. There simply must be one game plan that includes paid, owned and earned. There simply must be one set of success metrics, shared by each. There simply must be one source of data and a unified approach to every campaign.

In short, the evolution to Earned Media Management requires that communicators act a lot more like marketers, and to work side-by-side with every part of the paid and owned apparatus to create at 1+1 = 3 scenario, each and every day. That includes using powerful technology — like marketers do — to target and optimize comms activities. And then — like marketers — the activities of the Modern Communicator must be measured against actual value to the business, not based on tortured vanity metrics that don’t synch to financial gains.

Want to learn more about how to be a Modern Communicator? Watch the next video, about how comms must be more agile. 

I’m Jay Baer from Convince & Convert, on behalf of my friends at Cision. Thanks for watching.

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About Tony Hardman

Anthony Hardman is a senior content editor for Cision. He has more than 10 years of combined experience in broadcast news, public relations, inbound and content marketing. Connect with him on Twitter: @ahardman or LinkedIn.