If there was one word to describe 2020, it would have to be pivot – the extremely overused buzzword that many of us have used as a crutch to navigate these unchartered waters. With marketing budgets tightening in the face of tough economic times and Australia’s print media landscape continuing to change – read: shrink – it can be difficult to see how PR can continue to pivot and thrive in a world with fewer journalists and closing mastheads.
PR – the ever-agile profession
Pandemic aside, PR has always needed to be nimble to adapt to the ever-changing needs of media outlets, audiences and clients. As such, PR toolkits and strategies are always evolving – and 2020 is no different.
Traditional newsrooms are increasingly looking for a multi-focused approach, and PR specialists can offer value in providing high-quality content that can be used in print, television and across digital and broadcast channels, including podcasts.
The power of integrated storytelling
While it’s true that shrinking newsrooms will no doubt have an impact on the potential for ‘earned’ media coverage, the opportunity lies in achieving higher-quality features and audience reach across a range of platforms and media outlets.
The power of integrated storytelling has never been more apparent. Now, more than ever, those that can offer a suite of multimedia and visual ‘add-ons’ to their press release – such as images, social media graphics, audio grabs, testimonials and readily-available spokespeople – are more likely to capture journalists’ attention and make the cut for coverage.
Aligning with an overarching strategy, well-written ‘packaged up’ content – that is, a newsworthy story backed up by data, genuine thought-leader insights and high-quality visuals and audio – is more likely to get placed and achieve cut-through to where it’s needed most. This same piece of content can – and should – be pitched and leveraged across a range of mediums and platforms, both internally and externally.
Harnessing new channels
Achieving the coveted front page of a national print publication is no longer the only measure of PR success. Spokespeople are now able to curate and perfect their own message and be trusted mouthpieces from a range of angles – and on a range of new platforms and channels.
Podcasting, in particular, is booming. According to Deloitte’s 2020 Technology, Media and Telecommunications Predictions report, more than 1.6 million Australians now regularly download podcast content – an increase of 70 per cent in the past five years – safely positioning it as one of the country’s fastest-growing media channels.
Now considered a trusted news and information source for many Australians, podcasting offers an exciting new opportunity to create strategic and creative content that speaks directly to a highly-engaged audience. Yet another opportunity to set the agenda and shape perceptions with credible, authentic commentary on a seemingly endless range of topics.
Where to from here?
So, while the media landscape does continue to change, the opportunities to arise are seemingly endless. The future of PR is a positive one, so long as it continues to adapt – and indeed pivot – towards these new opportunities to continue to thrive.