As marketing and PR are changing rapidly with the constant evolution and expansion of the digital ecosystem, success requires integrated efforts that combine the smartest tactics in traditional PR combined with online marketing and SEO practices. The Internet has changed how we receive information, how we interact and engage with each other, with brands and with media. PR is a critical aspect of the marketing mix and there are fundamental shifts in strategy and approach that Zenzi Communications, an integrated marketing and PR agency, works with daily.

First and foremost, it is critical for PR professionals to be knowledgeable in all digital tools, including social media, blogs, mobile apps, SEO and email marketing. PR and online marketing are two areas of expertise that should go hand-in-hand.

Zenzi maintains and enhances clients’ market leadership position by establishing credibility through all channels of communication. With the endless amount of information available, it is crucial to present a clear and consistent message, and most importantly, be authentic and innovative. This is achieved by having a deep understanding of each target audience and the mediums they use to communicate. Be aware of the big picture, while entertaining and adding value to your digital audience.

With smaller staffs in traditional media newsrooms, many more ways to communicate, and consumers taking control of their incoming information flow, it is imperative to maintain a two-way dialogue with your target audience. Keep in mind that everyone is a journalist now and each individual should be treated that way. It is not enough to push information and messages out; listen to what your consumers are saying and be prepared to respond. PR must strengthen relationships with target audiences through blogs and social media, as well as traditional media outlets. Today’s communication is a constant dialogue, which makes brand awareness and credibility key when building and maintaining relationships.

Below are the top 10 tips (some old, some new) to recap what should be utilized in a cohesive manner to achieve your communications goals in today’s marketplace:

  1. Know your audience
  2. Develop and communicate a clear and consistent message
  3. Create and maintain relationships
  4. Be authentic & credible
  5. Engage & entertain your audience with big ideas and valuable insight
  6. Learn how to use digital tools
  7. Communicate using multiple touch-points
  8. Manage your reputation proactively through online word of mouth
  9. Create a crisis PR plan
  10. Combine and strategically merge SEO and PR efforts

Author: Sarah Hardwick, CEO, Zenzi Communications

After leaving a full time career to follow her dream of becoming an entrepreneur and founding Zenzi Communications at the age of 25, Sarah Hardwick’s passion and determination continue to be a powerful force in managing her life and public relations agency seven years later with a client portfolio that has grown to include national brands such as Dreyer’s Grand Ice Cream, Fresh Express Salads, Chiquita and Olay. Sarah is well known in the PR industry as a person to watch, having won awards for “Best Young Entrepreneur” and “Best Communications Campaign” in the Stevie Women in Business Awards, “Most Admired CEO Finalist” in the San Diego Business Journal and one of The San Diego Metropolitan’s “Top 40 Under 40.”

Read more: PR Helps Point The Customer To You