Over the last decade the rise of online platforms in the social and digital space has impacted public relations tactics. With new media advances, the question becomes, ‘where does traditional PR fit in the new equation?’
The truth is – PR has evolved alongside the media landscape and now encompasses a variety of new tactics. With new platforms and new methods being introduced to writers regularly, public relations professionals must adapt to ensure the success of their brands.
As this evolution continues, traditional PR tactics still remain incredibly important to the core of a brand’s success and should always be included when creating an impactful PR strategy. While new strategies are great and offer a tremendous amount of benefit, sometimes you just can’t beat the classic way of doing things.
While online outlets and blogs remain a popular method of PR for brands, it doesn’t always give the brand the credibility it needs to stand out in a world full of misleading information. Traditional media is certainly more difficult to earn, but a great article or feature story can significantly elevate a brand and build its credibility. Earning a great piece of coverage in a traditional media outlet typically means it was vetted; it was approved by a sr. editor or a producer, and it was thought through and researched. These aspects, along with the notoriety of the outlet, give consumers a sense of trust in brands they read about in traditional media outlets.
Not too long ago, working with influencers and engaging in paid influencer campaigns was a great way to stand out in the crowded space of traditional media, and in many cases it still is. In the last five years, we’ve seen a large shift as the influencer landscape grew significantly. Due to this shift, we are dealing with an oversaturated influencer market and an increasing number of sponsored posts daily, making it more difficult for brands to stand out. With fewer traditional outlets in the media space, the ones remaining have larger audiences and less competitors. This shift has reversed the roles yet again, making it easier for a brand to stand out in traditional media.
The basis of strong PR remains built in relationships regardless of your tactics and strategy. As we see the traditional landscape shrinking, we’ve seen an increase in freelance writers working for a number of media outlets across a variety of subject matter. These media relationships become more important than ever as fewer writers are covering the grid. Where you once spoke to five different writers to earn coverage, you now need to speak to one, who writes for a number of outlets; these relationships become pivotal to brand coverage and success. Now, it’s more important than ever to make strong relationships, focusing on the writer, and not the outlet.
New tactics and methods to earn PR are great and offer a variety of different ways brands can secure coverage. That being said, keeping traditional media in the mix is more important than ever and will be key to long term brand building and success.