5 Ways PR Has Changed Since 1999…and Why Now’s Better
If you’re “old school,” meaning you’ve worked in public relations for more than 10 years, you have seen quite a few changes in how PR professionals do their job. If you’re newer to the industry, you need to know what those changes are that have made your work so much easier.
Here are five ways the industry has changed in the last 15 years.
1. Sharing news is instantaneous
Back a decade or more ago, if you wanted magazines and newspapers to cover your news, you had to type up your press release and physically mail copies of it to those publications. Then you waited. You likely didn’t get a “not interested” letter, so you were basically shooting in the dark.
Why Now is Awesome: If you’ve got a press release ready to go, it can be live in minutes, not weeks.
2. Reporters no longer rule the roost
The number of journalists has dwindled, but they used to control the media world. They were the gatekeepers to your news, and the only path to get the word out.
What’s New Now: Now we also have bloggers to contend with. Sometimes it’s easier to get our news out to blogs, and there are less formal rules about doing so than with traditional media.
3. It’s cheaper to get your news out
Back in the day, you held a press conference if you had news of any kind. Now those are relegated to politicians and major national announcements. You don’t have to take a media tour and pay travel expenses either.
Faster, Cheaper, Better: Like I said, you can get your press release online in an instant, and affordably, too. You can amplify your message through social media, email, and your own blog, effectively reaching thousands of people with minimum investment.
4. You can now track PR
Getting a media mention 10 years ago was nice, but there was no real way to track how many people read that article, or even bought your product as a result. This is important data, and helps both PR professionals and marketers know when they’re on the right track with their messaging.
More Data Than We Know What to Do With: Now we can find out exactly how many people clicked the link to a press release, what they did with it, and where they live.
5. You no longer control the message
In the past, the company controlled the message. But with social media being the communication channel of choice, now it’s your customers, fans, and yes, even haters that control it.
Learn to Let Go: It’s scary to let others control your message, but if you focus on delivering quality products and experience, that message should be positive. Just stay on top of it online so you can react promptly.
Public relations has changed in so many ways — in my mind, for the better — that the old ways of doing things simply aren’t recognizable to us anymore. I for one can’t wait to see how it continues to change!
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