In the 1920s, Edward Berneys developed effective techniques to influence buying decisions of the mass. He established connections with media outlets and journalists to create a new outlook of company to improve sales. His approach was neither direct nor tangible, but it produced powerful results and drastic improvement in sales.
This subtle process of shaping public opinion and establishing a strong brand culture came to be known as Public Relation. Since then, business models and technologies have come a long way and so has the role of PR in a company’s success. Today, a public relation officer has to go beyond establishing close relations with journalists and pitching stories for the public to be successful.
Modern PR, or the hybrid PR, has to combine the outreach principles of conventional PR with all faucets of modern tools and technology to establish a company’s presence in the market. Presence of effective public relation becomes instrumental to ease sales and add brand value as well. The hybrid PR integrates various elements of business like digital marketing, social marketing, outreach, analytics, advertisement etc. to create a positive impact on a company’s overall business.
Hybrid PR has to take on new roles to build a cohesive environment and a strong connection between customers and the company’s brand values. Their tasks can be classified into following roles:-
Develop Business Strategy
Understanding a company’s business and its customers is the foremost necessity for PRs. Identifying what the company is selling and how it is adding value to its customers allows them to tailor strategies accordingly. PR has to actively participate in developing business strategies.
Manage media and web platforms
In an age of overwhelming communication platforms, presence in single type of platform is not enough. A hybrid PR has to distribute a company’s presence in appropriate channels. And the channels should align with campaign goals and target customers. They must chose and invest in channels that engage with prospects and customers.
Develop and Manage content
Content development is increasingly becoming an important aspect of public relations. Hybrid PR has to pick the right content that reflects the company’s values in its media. They also need to make sure that there is uniformity in content and message across all of the outreach and inbound marketing platforms. The voice and tone of the company has to be coherent across all these platforms.
In the digital era of cloud computing and web-platforms, metrics are abundant and available conveniently. It is a smart way to assess performance and effectiveness of a campaign or strategy. Hybrid PRs should use these metrics to monitor and analyze engagement with company. It is vital to have knowledge on what metrics to indicate and use to reflect on what works and what does not.
Build and maintain relationships
A major part of a PR’s role revolves around building and maintaining relationships. The scope of people ranges from employees, media personnel, public figures, journalists, investors, prospects and customers. This role demands good communication and social skills to ensure professional relation with everyone.
In today’s age, the hybrid PR officers are the real marketing ninjas. They help companies to acquire the competitive edge in the market. They need to have a clear understanding of the target audience, product and relevancy. They need to be flexible and should work dynamically with marketing contents for storytelling and establishing a company’s image. In the long run, an effective public relation establishes brand awareness and increases inbound prospects. Furthermore, it reassures existing investors and attracts new investment opportunities.