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So what is PR?
I think the dictionary would tell us something like PR is efforts or promotions creating good will towards a product or company.
I'd tweak that a little and say that effective PR spreads the story of a brand or product.
Up until recently, this was done primarily through traditional media. Here's how it worked:
- People in the media were looking for content for their TV shows, newspapers and magazines.
- PR professionals had stories about their companies they wanted to spread.
- So, PR professionals spent their time developing trusted relationships with people inside traditional media and becoming a good source for content (think press releases).
This was a win/win situation. The media outlet got content that they needed and the brand got publicity.
But this isn't working the way it used to (just ask any PR professional). I think the main reason it stopped working is that consumers have moved their trust from traditional media to social media (their friends).
This means that if you're in PR and you want have a job in a few years you'd better understand that the new PR is about engaging directly with consumers rather than through the intermediary of traditional media.
Your customers are speaking to you. Are you listening?