Public relations has gone beyond press releases— Experts

By Zion Rufus

For decades, press releases have been used to generate publicity for businesses and as well build their credibility over time. PR experts deploy press releases to increase brand visibility and awareness for their clients, plan and announce events, or even salvage the integrity of the brand in a time of crisis.

Across sectors, digital acceleration occasioned by the pandemic has pushed companies over the technology “tipping” point and compelled them to innovate. Hence, to stay competitive in the new business environment, clients have begun to demand PR services that create measurable key performance indicators that improve sales, and updates in real time.

“PR has gone beyond sending out press releases to announce brand activities,” said Bold Brand Buzz CEO, Yomi Olaniwun.

“Agencies need to task themselves on new deliverables around strategy, content, channels, creativity and measurement. PR is all about connecting people with brands through storytelling, so we have to shift the narrative to reflect what people need and want.”

However, the impact of technology on PR practice cannot be undermined. The practice of public relations that previously focused primarily on editorial content, has shifted to include paid media, editorial coverage, social media, company newsletters, and full creative services such as event development, brand marketing, media planning and buying, as well as content creation and influencer strategies.

Noting that agencies need to create events that can tell the stories, Olaniwun advised: “We need to identify how to become conversation starters and establish ways to tap into the passion points of consumers thereby creating convergence that brands can leverage on. Until we start owning events, contents and channels, we might be missing out on growth opportunities.”

While the process of writing and distributing news releases and media pitching are still relevant, clients are also hungry for the incorporation and elevation of creative visuals that further amplify the success rate of their placements.

“Telling your client you’ll get them published in the dailies and on blogs doesn’t really cut it anymore,” Media and communication consultant, Stanley Olisa said in his letter to Nigerian PR Practitioners.

Continuing, he said: “Selling press release syndication as your only value-add to a prospective client is no longer a sustainable approach. Your client is now interested in how your PR campaign will help them strengthen relationships with their key stakeholders and engender supportive behavior .”

According to Olisa, there is a growing need for PR practitioners to embrace the reality that the demands and expectations in the business world are changing, and the business environment is also becoming more complex.

“These changes are adding new ramifications to the PR profession, as it is coming under intense scrutiny by CEOs, especially as they pose questions which impugn the value of PR practice,” he added.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


    No comments found.