Trends in PR - Canadian PR Pros give their views on the most important PR Trends


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Trends in PR - Canadian PR Pros give their views on the most important PR Trends

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Trends in PR - Canadian PR Pros give their views on the most important PR Trends

  2. 2. We asked Canada’s PR thought leaders to discuss emerging trends in public relations and marketing. Their how-to tips for the future? . . . AND SO MUCH MORE!
  3. 3. Converged Media The PR industry is constantly evolving and blurring the lines between communication disciplines to create more immersive brand experiences. We are seeing a more inclusive strategic approach across earned, owned and paid media. On the production side, the ability to efficiently produce video content will be key to engaging audiences. Mia Pearson Co-Founder, North Strategic @miapearson Building Relationships Online I hope PR people can start embracing inbound PR rather than the outbound pitch-driven model we've been practicing for such a long time. Rather than blasting releases out and praying something will stick, we should adopt a digital first mindset and focus on three things: people, stories and relationships. We should figure out who we want to reach — whether it's media, bloggers, customers or other influencers. Then the fun part begins, creating amazing stories in words and visuals that people want to share and also sharing our customers' stories. And it's important to take time early on to build relationships based on trust and reciprocity and not simply a request. Martin Waxman Senior Counselor, Thornley Fallis Principal, Martin Waxman Communications @martinwaxman Content Strategy A key theme for PR practitioners is content strategy. We spent the last few years figuring out we can distribute quality, relevant content from more channels than ever before, including owned (your company website and social networking channels), earned (traditional media, analysts and bloggers) and paid media (advertising). However, producing this type of content can be expensive and time-consuming so without the right strategy, it just doesn't have the effectiveness and ROI we need to demonstrate. Kelly Rusk Senior Account Executive, Banfield-Seguin President, IABC Ottawa @krusk Creating Integrated Strategies With social media, marketers have more (and cheaper) access to their communities and customers than ever, but it’s hard to keep up with the demand for quality content. That’s why PR, marketing, communications and customer service have to work together to achieve their goals through a new story-marketing cycle that involves content curation, creation, optimization and amplification. This isn’t an easy process, and the best way for a brand to achieve success is for the profes sionals that manage paid, earned, owned and social media communications to work together to develop an integrated — and effective — content strategy. Heidi Sullivan Senior Vice President, Digital Content, Cision @hksully
  4. 4. Delivering ROI Earned Media Drives Sales Trends come and go. The current trend seems to be to generate as much chatter as possible for brands. But what’s important is that the chatter translates into business for the client. The art of communication and dialogue has been reduced to e-mails, 140 characters or less, quick and snappy posts, short-captioned photos or six-second videos. On top of that, there are countless glamorous events that can showcase brands in beautiful ways. But at the end of the day, if the client doesn’t see their business flourish, then what was the point? Volume doesn’t necessarily mean you’re engaging the right demographic for the client. Our focus is delivering communications efforts that provide real engagement with our clients’ stakeholders, bringing in partners whose specialties add dimension to these programs, and above all, delivering strategies that are fluid and adjustable so we can tweak as we go along to find what is right for the client and what is making their business sing. We’re not operating at a purely tactical level. A key mandate for PR professionals will be to better demonstrate the 'PROI' of our work. We have benefitted as an industry from heightened interest in public relations over the last few years, likely due to the uptake of social media as well as an unstable economy that has forced global brands to scrutinize their marketing spend and choose PR more than ever because of the belief that it is more efficient. Great PR agencies will focus on proving that their earned efforts have an impact on driving consideration and purchase intent. This includes leveraging the best measurement tools and technologies available and focusing not just on the content strategy, but on ensuring the right influencers are being engaged to drive participation. A PR agency that can move from simply measuring earned media to measuring converging media, including owned and paid, is measuring the full picture of a campaign and will be able to demonstrate the best results. Lauren Wolff President, Wolff Public Relations @LaurenWolffPR Krista Webster President, Veritas Communications @VeritasComm
  5. 5. From E-mail to Social Media We are going to change how we e-mail. Social platforms like Twitter have made short, concise messages the preferred method of communication, and that will influence how we write e-mails. We are also going to see greater integration of social media and e-mail pitching, as real-time monitoring for opportunities will result in a response to journalists first on the social platform, then in a structured e-mail. Jennifer Rideout Consultant, StrategicAmpersand @JenniferKR Shaping Strategy The most notable trend we are recognizing is the integration of disciplines. Historically, public relations has played more of a supportive role in the amplification of digital and promotional activations, but clients are increasingly recognizing the leadership role that communications and public relations should be playing in the development and execution of local, national and global initiatives. This is an opportunity for PR professionals to further strategize beyond the realm of traditional media. How do we provide our clients with the big ideas that can drive programs long-term and across all disciplines? In addition to asking will media cover this, we'll ask: How will this drive consumer engagement online and offline? What is the user experience? What technology will we need? Most important, we’ll want to know which of our client's digital, media and advertising agencies do we need to work with to make this happen. Now more than ever, clients are appreciating the value of public relations in successfully achieving business results, which makes it a very exciting time to work in the industry. Naz Araghian Group Account Manager, energi PR @Naz_Araghian Earned Media on Social Platforms The convergence of earned, owned and paid content and media is driving significant change in how PR and marketing professionals must operationalize and engage. Content creation and community management can be paired with real-time analytics and paid social media capabilities in order to achieve earned media at scale on platforms like Facebook and Twitter. Tristan Roy National Practice Leader, Edelman Digital @tristanroy
  6. 6. Trends & Delivering ROI I think experiential marketing and social media are more and more about authenticity. User-generated content is very important and is continuing to grow, but it’s about finding ways that feel organic to get the public to engage. Social media is very important, and will continue to grow, but it’s becoming very cluttered. The challenge is finding ways to stand out from the pack and to not seem overly corporate. Creating great and unusual events makes it easy for people to want to share a brand’s story. The public and media are very savvy and become more so each day. The challenge is staying authentic, relevant and loyal to your audience. Debra Goldblatt-Sadowski President, Publicity and Promotions, rock-it-promotions @debgee Mobile Accessibility To date mobile has significantly changed the public relations industry in two key ways: the way in which people consume content, and the media through which they do it. Content is now accessible on the go, which makes reputation management in the online space even more critical. An individual may be walking by a particular restaurant or about to buy a particular product and they will pull out their smartphone in order to ensure they are making a wise transaction. Platforms like Yelp have taken some of the power of influence out of the hands of the media and placed it back in the hands of everyday consumers. Thus, PR practitioners can no longer look strictly to media as their audience to reach consumers. We will see public relations professionals continue to expand their base of communications targets beyond media or bloggers. They will begin to focus more on direct-to-consumer communications strategies on a mass scale thought previously reachable only through advertising. Mobile's gift of accessible content is the primary driver of this trend. Matt Juniper Senior Account Executive & Community Manager, Praxis PR @mattjuniper Content & Convergence The PR industry is going to start moving away from characterizing itself with terms such as traditional or social media. It will move towards an integrated model, recognizing that people are consuming information through a variety of platforms. PR professionals will need to create smart communication strategies enabling their clients to connect with their audiences in meaningful and effecttive ways. In order to ensure they are able to properly serve their clients, PR agencies will start to hire talent with non-traditional PR backgrounds, such as graphic design, video and web development, research and digital marketing. Content creation, storytelling and personalized pitching will continue to be a big trend. Traditional news releases will be augmented with social and dynamic content and with infographics that will be re-purposed on various social platforms, including websites, blogs, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Karen Nussbaum Account Director, Narrative PR @knussbaum
  7. 7. Newsletters & E-mail I see a shift away from plain text to more visual e-mail and newsletter tools. Low-cost services, such as MailChimp, will be used to enhance design and client communication. Truly progressive PR agencies now integrate digital and design services to create elevated communications with all external audiences, including the rise of infographics as communication tools. Mobile will be increasingly considered in all e-mail communications to ensure that content is seamless across multiple platforms, with an emphasis on tablets and smartphones. Rachael Collier Account Manager, Citizen Optimum @rachaelmcollier Shaping Mobile Strategies The power of mobile growth isn’t just transforming how people access information, it also means our attention spans are increasingly fractured. PR professionals will need to approach mobile as an opportunity to develop online content that is social, in addition to informational. The expanded capabilities of smartphones and other devices means that we need to integrate mobile into our existing strategies — press materials, B2B/B2C campaigns, crisis planning — and also take advantage of the innovation that mobile offers, from better video content and augmented reality to more sophisticated location-based services. Jennifer Kaiser Senior Consultant, Media Profile @JennKaiser Rapport With Journalists As traditional media outlets increasingly rely on freelancers and online media continue to be inundated with stories, PR practitioners need to sharpen their e-mail etiquette to build rapport with journalists. Approach e-mail as you would use the telephone. If you wouldn't call a newsroom without knowing the name of the journalist, don't send an e-mail without addressing it appropriately. Crystal Kwon Senior Account Executive, Citizen Optimum @cwistal
  8. 8. Cision offers PR and marketing professionals an all-in-one platform for engaging, monitoring and analyzing social media and traditional media channels across Canada. CisionPoint provides instant access to important data and insights that will help you make better decisions and improve campaign performance. Keep up on Canada’s latest PR trends by visiting © Copyright 2013, Cision Canada Inc., All rights reserved.