WHY PR WON’T BE OBSOLETE ANYTIME SOON

WHY PR WON’T BE OBSOLETE ANYTIME SOON

June 30, 2019

By Masuk Ur Rahman

 

Public Relation is considered to be the oldest communication medium and the only medium for mass communication before advertisement took the place. With the rise of advertisement, PR lost its appeal since advertisers have full control over the message. This is because they have already bought the media space. While in PR, there’s always a vanguard who stands between the marketer and the audience to maintain the credibility of the media.

In common public relations practices, the marketer gets in touch with relevant media outlets with newsworthy information and the media here prepares the content based on the information presented. Since it is media that will be sharing the content with the audience with full authority, they scrutinize every possible detail for their reputation and credibility. So whatever comes out from the media, the message becomes more credible.

Whenever you look for public relation related issues, there are two kinds of contents that pop up in search results. Either how PR is rising with the fall of the advertisement or how PR is becoming obsolete. This is clearly a contradiction of opinion yet both of them are correct.

 

THE HAPPENING SHIFT TOWARDS PUBLIC RELATIONS

The advertisement has seen a paradigm shift considering the media channel. Advertisement in mass media has declined in number. On the other hand, personalized digital advertisement has gained momentum. Advertisement has become more and more precise; a good marketer with great analytic skill target the right audience with a minimum budget. There are so many tools that can achieve precision in marketing communication, yet advertisers are struggling to be heard. The reason is that; the audiences have the knowledge about advertisement or paid promotion. With the rise of advertisement-free premium content platforms, more and more challenges for marketers to communicate appear. So even in this digital era, PR really has something to do that other medium can’t do; especially in terms of gaining audience trust.

On the contrary, how else can a brand gain free media space other than public relations? Traditional PR practices may seem obsolete considering conventional PR practices, but PR can be a great medium considering the ROI of the other communication medium. PR cannot provide a 360-marketing communication solution but surely it can reinforce other communications and the whole thing can be done without any media buying. If you wonder how PR agencies work, just know one thing that PR agencies never pay a single penny for any news coverage. Yes, there are dirty practices, but a good PR agency never pays a dime. So how do PR experts carry out a mission? The answer is simple, having in-depth knowledge about the industry, knowing the types of contents that news media prefer and having good network with media professionals. These may sound easy but are really tough to gain. So, whatever you pay for your PR campaign, is not for the media space; rather the cost of hiring a knowledge hub with a great network in media.

PR is more like a both-direction conveyer belt that flows insight and newsworthy information from corporations towards the consumers through the news media and relevant platform. Since there is no monetary benefit involved except for the news consumer’s utility, only PR experts can maintain the uninterrupted and consistent flow of information and out of those information media outlets prepare newsworthy contents.

 

BENEFITS EXPECTED FROM PR ACTIVITIES

Now that we know how PR functions with a subscription, let’s have a look at what benefits a brand can expect from PR activities, how to maximize the ROI and how to leverage PR to gain upper hand in digital communication.

IDENTITY CREATION

For a newly born business entity, PR is the low-cost option to lay the foundation of a brand. A recently launched business entity or a product line may not have the budget to advertise their launching but surely they can publish a press release regarding this. It may not boost the sales, but surely it will create a web presence and may ensure the very first sale. In fact, a simple press release in a top tier media will create a searchable identity of your brand.

BUILDING REPUTATION

It is very unusual for a brand to advertise every MoU they sign or any technology they adopt. But these are actually good for brands for developing their reputation. For instance, if a bank adopts a top class financial security system or a ride-sharing company organizes a driving training session for its riders, it surely can boost the reputation of a particular brand.

GENERATING OPINION

PR is the only medium that helps to generate favorable public opinion towards a business entity which may result in developing favorable regulation or supporting industry. For instance, after the inception of ride-sharing companies in Dhaka, the government had expressed their concern on the business modality considering the demand from taxi and auto-rickshaw owners and drivers’ association. You may have thought of public opinion in social media which made the government alter their decision; but unfortunately, regulators do not pay heed to social media. Rather, they listen to reputed media houses.

CONTENT MARKETING

Content marketing is told to be the next big thing in the marketing communication channel. PR experts have in-depth knowledge about each platform and target audiences they serve. If you are planning for content marketing, considering the essence and target audience, PR experts can not only prepare the best contents but also they can identify the best platform for a better outcome.

SEARCH ENGINE RANKING

Search Engine Ranking is the thing that no brand can achieve by only an advertising campaign. Those who are searching for information are the determined buyers of those particular goods or services. So a first-page ranking in Google search has the highest ratio of sales conversion or helps buyers making their decisions. If a content with well-researched keywords is published in top ranking media, it can achieve first-page ranking in Google search index. So if you are planning for search engine optimization for your web visibility, PR is the fastest medium that can help you achieve it within the shortest period of time.  Out of the top 50 sites in Alexa ranking for Bangladesh, there are only 13 sites from Bangladesh and 6 out of top 13 are news websites. So, if you can publish anything on those top websites, the visibility and web presence of your brand can improve drastically.

BUILDING RELATIONSHIP

Another great thing about public relations is building a relationship with industry stakeholders. Apart from typical news publishing activities, PR experts can actually help to gain access to a resourceful person or a person with decision-making capability. Also, PR works as a bridge between the company and the information seeker from any background. So if you are planning for a consistent flow of information with your brand essence, PR is the key to that solution.

Traditional Public Relations practices may become obsolete. However, PR is more like a sharp sword which may become obsolete in long-range battles; but for close combats, it is still relevant and will remain significant for certain jobs that others might not be able to carry out.

 

The writer is a PR Professional at Black Board Strategies Ltd. You can reach him through masuk@blackboardstrategies.com 

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