Technology is Changing the Role of PR Professionals

by Gabby Holdsworth

The public relations industry has witnessed an incredible change in the last couple of years.  Many are under the impression that a PR professional’s role is ringing up journalists and sending press releases out.  Now, time-to-time that is what they do, but with the development of technology it has opened up a new and exciting door.

Relationships with the media will always play an important part of public relations; they are in some way a gatekeeper allowing certain information to reach the public. However, in the last couple of years PR is in a more powerful position when trying to directly connect and build relationships with their consumers.

With the use of Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, companies are able to directly communicate with their customers and develop relationships on a more personal level. This opens up more opportunities than the traditional way of PR, as companies and brands can target their chosen audience.

Take a look at some brands which use Twitter as a method of communicating with their consumers. Chanel, a famous fashion brand have 12.7 million followers, they can quickly and easily speak to their followers directly in new and different techniques.

This method looks past the use of press releases; brands are able to create effective PR campaigns, use visual design and inform the public without having to ring up journalists.

With the use of social media, there is now more than ever an overlap in public relations and marketing. Previously PR was defined as ‘helping an organisation connect with its community’, whereas now, many believe that today’s PR professionals are having a direct role in driving leads.

Technology has taken another step further in development and this seems to be videos. As a webinar-pr-for-hotelssociety we are becoming more and more visual. When scrolling through Twitter, what catches your eye, the tweets which are just text or those which has an image? Our attention to information is decreasing, which means businesses and brands are looking for new ways to try and keep their audiences entertained.  A recent report from Cisco predicted that 75% of the world’s mobile traffic will be video by 2020.

Social media channels are beginning to adopt this new trend. Twitter’s Periscope, Facebook Live and Snapchat means organisations can easily share live events with their audiences. This inexpensive tool is another great opportunity for PR professionals to keep their customers engaged.

Major brands such as, BMW, Red Bull and Dunkin Dohnuts has adopted the new technology to its PR tools and has worked incredibly well. Dunkin Donuts relies heavily on its visuals to sell their products and with the use of live stream, they were able to allow their consumers to explore its ‘test kitchen.’ The video showed a creation of a gigantic donut- themed wedding cake and attracted more than 36,000 viewers.

Audiences love to see what goes on behind the scenes and live streaming allows for this to happen in an unedited setting. You will see more companies adopting this method throughout the year.

The world of PR has changed dramatically in the last couple of years and it will see more opportunities and developments in the future. Social media has had an incredible impact on PR professionals; it has changed the way they work and the way they build relationships with their audience.

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