It will come as no surprise to you to discover, (what you probably already predicted), to be the ever increasing growth in the use of the internet to create, find and digest the latest news and industry developments. Managers and journalists alike are logging on to find the information they need to fill magazines, develop their business and learn all they need to know about their industry, either on their desktop, laptop, tablet or smartphone.
As the number of those accessing the internet and consuming their favourite newspaper, magazine or industry publication on mobile devices increases, publications are left with the challenge to convert the online users into revenue to keep the business clocking on, and editions being published.
Where individuals would have bought a paper copy of their favourite newspaper on the go, they are now logging into a phone, leading to a decrease in paper sales.
Whilst the media struggle with their own problems, brands are also faced with the issue that their costly adverts are reaching smaller audiences with each edition, and this leads to the confusion as to how they should target and build their audience, whilst spending money wisely!
What does this mean for Public Relations (PR)?
You may have heard debates arise regarding the importance of public relations when there are specialist agencies popping up left, right and centre offering the “greatest answer” to digital marketing yet, with “the latest techniques” and “measurable results”! But these agencies, and their promises go hand in hand with public relations debate of reputation building.
Far from being left behind the times however, PR is essential and needs to be included and integrated into online and offline marketing campaigns whatever the outlet, and whoever the audience.
If you consider public relations to be the main way a brand constructs and maintains its reputation, then there is no way that it should ever be forgotten. Reputation and people’s perception of your business is as important as it ever has been, and maybe even more so, due to the free arena of speech that social networks allow us, amplifying each individuals voice louder than ever. A successful PR campaign involving press releases, events and product launches automatically leads to increased trust from consumers who will buy from a brand they have been exposed to through their own trusted news outlets, and who they have seen to deliver on promises
A company whose reputation (which is built up by PR) is that of consistency, reliability and a responsive nature will out-win customers every time against rivals who have a fancy, one-off attention grabbing, digital strategy. Without the basis of a reputation built up by PR, the campaign can quite honestly be a bit of a waste of money. If individuals don’t trust your brand, the flashiest digital marketing campaign still won’t increase sales.
At Xposure we currently work with Shacklocks Solicitors to deliver their PR campaign in Mansfield and around the East Midlands. Combining a mix of press releases sent to local publications (including the Mansfield Chad), sponsored events in Mansfield and Derby, and advertisements in relevant newspapers, we have helped the firm to maintain its trusted reputation and strong place in the community.
With that said, digital marketing should not be ignored, simply combined with an effective, tried and tested PR formula increasing trust and eventually profits!