Once upon a time, PR solely operated in the realm of earned media. However, with the rapid shift towards online as newsrooms shrink and the influencer levels of bloggers grow, we have all had to adapt to the environment around us, subsequently evolving the role of PR.

In addition to securing that all-important coverage in key publications and handling media relations, PR professionals are now adding to their skill sets, offering social media expertise, content creation and greater involvement in maximising paid for media.

We’ve predicted the top three ways that PR will continue to evolve and be utilised this year:

  • Reputation Management: As the extent of PR responsibilities expands further, reputation management will take its place firmly at the top of the list. From media coverage to social media to online reviews, PR professionals will be called upon as the guardians to protect and enhance brands reputations on both offline channels and online platforms.

The old adage that today’s news is tomorrow’s chip paper is no longer a security blanket as the speed at which information is shared and commented upon gathers ever increasing pace, and the ability to dig up information comes so easily via Google and the likes.

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Companies need to protect their brand upfront, be aware, listen and ultimately be prepared to react.

  • Content sharing: Today, great content isn’t the finish line but rather the starting point so a growing marketing necessity is the need to distribute content well via the right channels. Creating content distribution strategies is not unlike pitching a press release to traditional media, you must understand how to create a story that is interesting, relevant, valuable and engaging; a natural skillset of a good PR team. Likewise accessing online influencers, the key holders of publishing content and the new journalists of today, are an audience that needs to be nurtured– something PR’s know about only too well!
  • SEO: Quite rightly, the buzzword of 2016 was ‘content’ and although creating high quality (over quantity) content will still be the aim of the game, this year is set to see PR delve further into the world of SEO. Whilst SEO focuses on search engine rankings, PR creates buzz and interest around content which in turn boosts rankings. As the two disciplines have such similar aims and increasingly overlap, it makes sense that SEO expertise and understanding of the discipline will increasingly become relevant to those in public relations, with the two becoming further entwined in the future.

However, with all the digital white noise there is a lot to be said for the traditional process of getting to know and build relationships with journalists, bloggers and other influencers, skills that will continue to be the bedrock of PR strategy. Amongst all the content driving and online influencing, we should be very careful not to neglect the importance of building these relationships in an offline capacity.

If you would like to discuss the best ways to embrace PR and develop your strategy for 2017 to ensure your best content is distributed in the best possible way then get in touch.