Twenty years ago when I was a young PR Manager, understanding how the media works and having good contacts in the system was enough to succeed. My extensive knowledge of the media world and my rich network of journalists were then my main assets as a Public Relations Manager or even Press Relationist (PR).
Today, Public Relations (PR) is still an approach that helps a company or an individual to cultivate a positive reputation with the public through various paid and earned communications. But new technologies have profoundly changed the way we work by integrating all the realities of social media, from community management to e-reputation, etc., all of which are new frontiers of reputational risk that must be mastered.
Twenty years ago, PR worked through traditional media and stakeholder engagement; now we have to take into account digital, social media and influence, even virtual reality. Unlike TV, radio or print, PR has evolved and is as relevant, if not more so, than it was 20 years ago.
One of the main challenges for PR Director today is to find a balance between new media (digital and social) and traditional media (TV, radio, print). One traditional medium that has bridged the gap between these two worlds is Public Relations.
The purpose of communication is in its ability to change opinions and behaviours, without constraint. Influence is nothing more than that. Brands use influencers and other engagement tools to connect with consumers on a more personal scale.
“To be influential, you have to be willing to be influenced. »
It is therefore urgent to deconstruct the purely “top-down” vision of communication to develop a more interactive communication, a more mutually beneficial relationship based on the community’s agenda and not just the company’s, and more embodied through employees, experts and leaders.
I observe that Public Relations is still doing what it did a century ago, namely “promoting a positive brand image and message.”, but it is now using 21st century tools and techniques to get the positive message across.
Alexandre Siewe Leupi
Forward-thinking and proactive Strategic Communication Consultant | communication strategy and policies, branding and PR / social media strategy, Private and public media