We’re in the first week of 2011, and I’m already seriously concerned about the shape B2B public relations will be in by 2012.
The number of reporters is shrinking at an alarming rate. Marketing silos are collapsing, which means PR budgets and activities are under significant “synergistic” threat. Audiences seem most responsive to a gritty, natural marketing approach, and attention spans are at an all time low.
Simply put, it’s not an easy time to be in the “awareness” business.
Now, here are the current products that PR believes will solve the problems of a changing environment: bylined articles, social media, newspaper quotes, trade shows, media pitches, press releases, TV appearances and messaging.
How long do we think these will truly meet the evolving needs of reporters and our clients’ targets?
The age-old business model of the public relations industry is at risk. (And no, the answer is not social media. That’s a wonderful channel that can help your company grow in 2012, but it’s not enough.)
1. Identify, extract and develop great ideas.
2. Determine how best to package and distribute those ideas.
I hope you noticed that these are skills that almost every good PR professional already possesses. But it’s time to evolve our capabilities—and our “products.” Our product is now content. Here’s what PR content is becoming:
- Customer stories
- QR Codes
- Curated — or aggregated — streams of information
Take a careful look at that list. How many of these elements are in your planned 2011 PR programs? Can you afford a lack of experience with these products?
Perhaps more important, can you afford another year of thinking of yourself as just a traditional PR professional?
Elizabeth Sosnow is a managing director with BlissPR.