The PR industry is constantly evolving and adapting to societal changes. PR companies must keep up with current trends to add clients to their roster and make themselves stand out from the crowd. 

That said, more attention is on leadership roles, social media has become bigger than ever, and reporters are constantly on their toes with shorter deadlines and more content to produce. So, how should you adapt? Here are a few ways:

FURTHER Personalize Your Pitches

Reporters are bombarded with emails from PR folks every day and don’t have the time to go through them all. This means it is vital for your pitches to stand out from the rest.

If your pitch isn’t tailored toward a reporter’s niche, they’ll likely delete your email right away unless you’ve ASKED them to be on a blast list for updates they want or need. Otherwise, they want to quickly grasp the content, see if it aligns with their own interests, and decide to continue investigating the subject or not. 

Your pitch should also be short, yet informative. All of the content in your pitch should be straight to the point and helpful to the reporter. In other words, don’t beat around the bush or add a lot of fluff.

Utilize Both Earned and Owned Media

Owned media is what your company directly puts out into the world, such as your Instagram, blog or website. Use them to the fullest because those are the channels that you own.

Earned media, on the other hand, is not controlled by you. It is what the press or public shares about your company. This can include an article, a tweet, or even an Instagram story about you. There are various types of earned media, especially because of the impact we’ve seen social media can have.

Earned media can help you reach audiences that owned media may not. For example, if your company is featured in a magazine, you can gain brand recognition from people that would have only discovered you through the magazine. Utilize different outlets so that you can reach crowds outside of your bubble.

A Nielson report found that “83% of consumers trust digital word-of-mouth more than content produced directly by advertisers.” People take into consideration the opinions of others when deciding what companies to purchase from.

To put it simply, don’t solely rely on owned media, have a healthy balance of both.

Use Social Media to Amplify Owned and Earned Media

Many consumers turn to social media in our digital world to research products and services prior to purchase. While having a website is helpful, it’s equally as important to use social media as it’s become the hub for brand recognition.

On social media, you’ll want to create visually appealing and engaging images. It’s also important to keep your company’s profiles up-to-date.. People want to see which clients you’re working with, what you have to offer, and how they can connect with your company and these platforms will be the first place they look. 

Since your social media profile is the first interaction consumers have with your business, make sure it represents your company well. First impressions make the biggest impact!

Engage in Corporate Social Responsibility 

According to PR Daily, as a result of the social movements that have come into the spotlight the last few years, including Black Lives Matter, consumers are interested in seeing how companies respond to these issues through corporate social responsibility (CSR). How can that help you?

Consumers want to know the company’s stances on certain issues, so they can align it with their own views and values. If a business conveys their affiliation toward a certain philanthropic organization focusing on climate change or racial justice, et al., consumers who are passionate about those social issues will view the business more positively. 

It’s also important to utilize your company website, social media platforms, or whatever tool your firm uses to engage with the public to show your stance on current issues. This could be in the form of a written statement of support or an activity your company will engage in, such as donating money or participating in an event. However, the support must be genuine. People will see right through paying lip service.

Acts like these will show consumers that your company cares about making an impact in the world and encourage consumer trust in the company.

Share Your Client’s Knowledge on Podcasts

Podcast listeners are on the rise. According to the Edison Research Infinite Dial 2020, “24% (68 million) [people] listen to podcasts weekly – up from 22% in 2019.” Podcasts are not a monopoly of huge corporations, which makes them easy to create and share. Additionally, they are easy to access on Apple podcasts, Spotify, and more.

Many people have transitioned from listening to music to listening to podcasts on their way to work, while doing housework, and countless other activities. In fact, “About 30 percent of the US online population who has ever tuned into a podcast say they are listening to podcasts more now than they were a year ago,” according to The Infinite Dial 2019. Some people also prefer to listen to information rather than read it, which is another reason podcasts are a great resource. You should be pitching your firm’s leaders and your clients to relevant podcasts. 

Podcasts can be easy to make, especially if there is no visual component. For starters, grab a mic, press record, and get to talking. Of course there is planning prior to recording, such as choosing a topic to discuss and who you’ll interview. Some ideas for a podcast focusing on PR include: What is PR? Why is PR important for companies to thrive? How has PR evolved over time? There is also editing and uploading post-recording, but the effort will be worth it in the end.

Here at NRPR, we have our own podcast, PRfect Pitch, hosted by founder and CEO Nicole Rodrigues, about all things PR. On each episode guests discuss their experiences within the media industry and share tips and tricks, whether it be about pitching, storytelling, events, and more.

There is no limit to what can be discussed on these podcasts. It’s also a great way to engage with your audience and ask them what they want to hear.

These are just a few ways to get ahead in the PR world and thrive. If you acknowledge that your company has a voice and people want to hear it, you can achieve anything you put your mind to. Don’t be afraid to explore different forms of media and try new things. Times are changing and adapting your business is crucial to continue to be successful.