As a team, we recently attended a PR Newswire event that discussed, “The Future of PR”. It saw a series of speakers offer their take on the future of our industry. Within this topic, they also touched on, “how to engage a global audience”.

So, it had me thinking, where are we heading? Our industry is constantly evolving, so our approach to our client’s needs should too as a result. Here are my thoughts:

Quality over quantity will be valued

It’s always nice to send a juicy coverage update to your client. You get a buzz and equally the client sends a note of gratitude. Win, win right?! However, where this ‘buzz’ and ‘admiration’ ends is when it’s coverage simply for the sake of coverage. We need to ask ourselves; Will that piece of earned media move the dial for my client? Is the audience relevant? What value does this provide? As PR practitioners we can show value for our work by demonstrating ROI and business impact  without sending reams of meaningless coverage across. Whilst there are certainly times you do want to achieve a wide reach e.g. a product launch, there are certainly many times for a considered and targeted media strategy. It is imperative that you master this skill.

Going beyond impressions

Although the industry has come a long way in this regard e.g. steering away from AVEs, we need to continue this momentum. Impressions are not correlated with quality and are often arbitrary. We should instead focus on meaningful KPIs, such as share of voice, sentiment, quality of coverage, social engagement, key message penetration and spikes in web traffic. At Agent99, we’ve developed a SMART KPI & Measurement playbook which we share with our clients at the beginning of our campaign. This means that each campaign has specific, measurable and individual KPIs. No two campaigns are the same here!

Introducing storytelling

Information overload will only get more prevalent. It makes it difficult to keep journalists’ attention if the press release is overwhelming and lengthy. Rather than just focusing on the facts of a company’s message, treat every release like a story. A release without a narrative will make its impressions even less meaningful. We also predict that the form/style of the standard press release will evolve in the next 5 years to reflect these shifts.

Agent Amelia