When the veterans amongst us think back to our early days in PR (10-15 years ago!), it’s sometimes hard to believe the profession we entered is the profession we see today. So much has changed, and we’d like to think, for the better.
Say goodbye to ‘pure PR’
Just over a decade ago, PR agencies were exactly that – a team of PR experts working on very traditional communications strategies. Press releases were sent to a raft of journalists across a vast array of outlets. We even printed and posted them once!
Competitions were placed, journalist one-to-ones were organised and stunts were a regular occurrence.
When our unique boutique agency broke away from the bigger agencies, we offered pure PR services. For a long time, this suited clients.
Now, those media skills are arguably more important than ever. Given the decreasing number of journalists and titles to secure interest with, the growth of digital has completely changed the face of PR.
Digital disruption across the industry
Our expertise has broadened in line with client and industry expectations and needs. As the world has evolved, so have we.
No longer are we simply wordsmiths. We’re now experts in social media outreach, SEO for PR, e-marketing, content and influencer marketing. Not to mention our rebrand to officially declare the integrated offering that our clients have benefitted from for years.
And while our list of journalist contacts may have shortened, our blackbook of influencers continues to grow at unprecedented levels.
Proving our worth
All of this has given way to more complex reporting needs. PR has always been a difficult profession to value. There are many subjective views on what is deemed high-quality ROI. There is no correct answer though. Value is perceived by the client, whether it’s column inches or an increase in leads.
For many years, we settled for AVEs (Advertising Value Equivalent). AVE is figured out by how much the space taken would cost if it was an advert.
This certainly monetised our efforts and made reporting our successes to clients and financial directors transparent. However, as an industry, we accepted this approach was fundamentally flawed, especially in the modern PR world. How can you measure this space online, when advertisers now pay per ad click?
Opportunities to see, readership, MOZ ratings, influencer mentions, backlinks, website audience spikes and low cost per acquisition are all ways with which we can measure the success of a fully integrated campaign. What’s critical here is that no one size fits all. It’s about taking a tailored approach to individual clients. This means providing reporting that meets their objectives and that best illustrates ROI against a set of agreed KPIs.
The future of PR
Today, PR is all about engaging with a much broader audience of potential influencers rather than simply the media. Strong tailored content is taking centre stage ahead of straight forward news announcements. Influencers work with agencies to deliver added value to their readerships.
And agencies today, which are offering much more than pure PR, from social media and digital PR to influencer marketing and content development, are being considered much more strategically from a client perspective.
We can offer more value than ever before, as we’re the experts on delivering a brand’s message. And that’s just the way we like it.
To discover how Jam can help you reach your audience, get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0161 850 0565.