Posted by Melanie Taljaard ● Tue, Jan 15, 2013 @ 07:01 AM

Is PR Dead with all this Online Marketing

Video killed the radio song?  Well not really.  And just like the radio song, PR is alive and well.  But I do sometimes get asked where public relations all fits in with so many new technologies changing the communications and marketing landscape.

I feel equipped to answer this question because over the years, my own passion between PR and Marketing and has been a bit like a teeter totter. 

PR and Marketing

My under grad degree is in public relations, but for more than a dozen years I worked in corporate marketing and advertising and completed my MBA in Marketing at the same time.

Now as an independent marketing consultant, I get to draw on both skill sets.  And I often get to choose the type of projects (marketing or PR) that I work on.  More and more, I find myself drawn to the media relations or publicity work.  I find the publicity work incredibly exciting and rewarding.  Maybe it’s because after 15 years of working in this market I have established relationships with local journalists and media outlets. 

Perhaps the reason I find myself doing more and more PR work is because of the type of clients I work with.  They have amazing stories to tell.  I tend to work with trail blazing entrepreneurs who are the leaders in their sectors.  They are doing things differently—creating media worthy stories on a regular basis.  

Generating publicity is hugely rewarding because it is easy to track the effectiveness of your PR efforts.  Seeing your business story in print or on the evening news is a rewarding and tangible outcome, not to mention highly valued exposure.  Publicity is considered to be valued 3-5 times the ad rate of the media outlet.  So a three minute news story would be valued at $36,000 - $60,000 if the 30 sec commercial rate is $2000. 

So does that flip the teeter totter in favour of public relations? 

public relations and marketing

Well yes and no.  The evolution of social media and online marketing in general has made the web such an exciting place to share messages with target audiences.  Correctly built websites allow two way communication between corporations and their target audience (something unheard of a decade ago).  

The news piece realized from publicity efforts becomes an excellent communication piece to circulate in social media – post the news story, tweet the pictures etc. 

 While PR is not dead, it’s changing--it’s evolving.  There are many ways to incorporate social media into a public relations strategy to connect with audiences and journalists alike.   At the end of the day, the media isn’t the target – your customer, prospects, or stakeholders are the target.  The media used to be the conduit to get to your audience, but increasingly social media present opportunities to reach your audience directly without the intermediary of the media. 

The publicity generated in the mass media can drive customers (and prospects who may never have heard of you before) to your website or to your social platforms.  They may hear your message initially through the eyes of the media, but you have the opportunity to tell the story directly to your audience without any intermediaries through the use of online marketing. 

PR and Social Media can thrive off one another.  By no means is PR dead, but perhaps it’s forgotten or not given the proper attention as the communication mix evolves and makes room for the newer technologies of online marketing and social media.  

Looking to make sure you are benefitting from the synergies of using PR & Social Media together to reach your target audience with your key messages?  Download your copy of my, Essential Guide to Getting Your Story in the Spotlight Using Traditional PR & Social Media.

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Topics: social media marketing, social media tips, public relations, media relations