Written by Jennifer Bett Meyer, Jennifer Bett Communications
Wake up, the PR industry has changed.
Smart brands are looking past the traditional agency model, where product placement is priority, press releases are serviced daily, and each client is served the same generic press plan.
They want to work with forward-thinking publicists who stay on top of the ever-evolving media landscape, find new ways to connect with consumers, and tell meaningful brand stories. And trust me, you don’t need 50 people, a large office full of cubicles, or a cookie-cutter PR plan to do that.
This is what strategic PR looks like today:
It’s not just about print vs. digital.
First off, it’s no longer just a traditional print vs digital conversation. Each of these platforms will always be incredibly important from both a branding and conversion standpoint. One does not cancel out the other.
You can’t just focus on digital outlets or blogs and you can’t just pitch traditional press. A good press plan will include a healthy balance of each medium. Any press plan that ignores one is ignoring an entire side of the conversation.
Product placement takes a backseat to storytelling.
Today’s consumer is much more aware of how and where products are made. It’s not just about a pretty sweater or a cute pair of pants. They want to know: Who made the product? Is it sustainable? What is the sales model? Am I getting the best price possible? Thus product placement, while important, is no longer a top priority for JBC. We are in the business of storytelling for our brands and this has translated to stronger customer loyalty and increased conversion for clients.
Mobile is a priority.
Today’s consumer is mobile, and gathers the majority of information on his/her mobile device. Reach out to social media editors to share news or content from your brands.
Along with social media content comes new opportunities to partner with media sites. Racked and Refinery29 both do fantastic Facebook LIVE conversations with brand founders and leaders.
Additionally many brands we work with have found success through social channels like Snap (formerly Snapchat) both from an education and sales perspective.
Want to know how to keep up? These are five ways to stay ahead of the evolving PR industry.
1. Get your whole story in a headline
The NYTimes reported that our attention spans have dropped to 8 seconds before becoming distracted (down from 12 seconds in 2000), which is less than a goldfish. Studies now show that 62% of Americans now get their news from social media, making this the battle ground for “The true scarce commodity” of the near future…”human attention.”
Headlines matter more than ever and PR professionals must adjust accordingly to ensure headlines, subject lines and social copy captures attention, quickly.
2. Embrace a multi-dimensional approach
Don’t pigeon-hole yourself as one specific type of publicist. The most successful brands aren’t pure technology brands or pure fashion brands. The most engaging, influential brands today play in the grey area – a fashion brand with a new take on tech, or a home brand with an interesting data team or sales model. Get creative with outreach, i.e. don’t just pitch fashion editors about a fashion brand. Find ways to target travel books, lifestyle magazines, or business outlets.
3. Build Relationships with Emerging Publications
As we all know by now, media is constantly evolving and expanding. In the past year alone, we have found incredible conversion from two brand new platforms- CheddarTV, coined as the CNBC for Millennials, and Glossy, a daily online publication exploring the intersection of fashion and luxury through the lens of digital and tech.
Make sure you are setting aside time to research and stay on top of emerging sites and media outlets.
4. Grow Your Own Reputation
It’s easy to keep the focus on our clients, but more than ever, communication professionals must keep an eye on their own personal brands, as well as agency awareness.
Whether through contributed content, serving on industry panels or entering award programs like the PR Couture Bespoke Communication Awards, take advantage of all the different ways you can showcase your expertise.
Don’t forget to collect client testimonials, save copies of press hits and compile your professional wins into case studies. Having these assets ready to go will come in handy when opportunities arise.
5. Only Say Yes to Clients You Love
Work with brands that have impactful narratives and are more than just product; brands with passionate, inspirational leaders who can explain their mission. And dig in deep to find the most interesting, thought provoking, eye-opening stories to share with editors.
I am constantly inspired by the entrepreneurs we represent. From Matt Scanlan of Naadam and Ariel Kaye of Parachute to Denise Lee of ALALA and Josh Udashkin of Raden, these leaders are pushing the boundaries in their own industries and in turn challenging us to find new ways to tell their stories.
At JBC, we are lucky enough to have a business where our clients embrace this new way of thinking, our rather unorthodox approach towards PR. Our staff is comprised of publicists who constantly push themselves to find the newest outlet, the most engaging story, and best way to tell it. And this crucial combination is truly what drives success.
For over 16 years, Jennifer Bett Meyer has been a success-driven professional working in public relations and marketing for today’s most dynamic global brands. In January 2013, Jennifer launched Jennifer Bett Communications to offer uniquely competitive brands and startups a new, creative, and multi-dimensional approach to overall consumer awareness.
In 2014 Jennifer was joined by Partner and Managing Director, Melissa Duren Conner, to effectively address the evolving consumer market and the intersection of the digital marketplace and traditional retail. With their team of experienced PR talent, JBC executes strategies that are thoughtful, dynamic and results-driven while providing clients a high-touch level of service and senior expertise.