As they say, change is inevitable. And in business as in life, change is constant. It must be in order to stay relevant and competitive. Companies must evolve and grow outpacing themselves and the rest of the market more than ever before. This is how progress is made.
“To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.” – Winston Churchill
Change can be positive for the business, yet still challenging to key constituents. It can appear in the form of organizational and leadership changes, enterprise-wide system rollouts, and mergers and acquisitions. It can also stem from crisis in the form of financial setbacks, employee layoffs, office closures, or public scandal.
For employees, clients, and key stakeholders, change brings anxiety, fear, and negativity. Too much change in a short amount of time and you get resentment, anger, rebellion, and toxic behavior.
Anyone who has been in the PR profession for any length of time understands there are four media types to leverage in our strategic toolkit: Paid, Earned, Owned, and Shared. In some instances, others have included traded, promoted, and maybe a few others, but at the core there are the four.
With the onset of social media, blogs, microsites, podcasts, and a ton of other publishing tools, companies have more control over their messaging and brand positioning than they ever had before. Both marketing and PR organizations are wrestling with how to command the attention of the market while eclipsing their competitors with a credible thought leader position.
If we’re honest with ourselves, there is enormous overlap in the marketing and PR worlds. We’re all in the content business and continue to explore new ways of telling our corporate stories leveraging brand journalism. We have the shared goal of building brand visibility and market credibility, all with the intent of driving new business and increasing revenues.
Why not partner and tackle this beast together.
The proliferation of content marketing and brand journalism has raised the bar of mid- and large-sized brands and increased expectations from their clients and prospects. No longer are companies relying solely on traditional media and marketing tactics to elevate their position in the marketplace, but instead have taken an aggressive approach in publishing content via online newsrooms, blogs, and social media channels. As the recent survey report by TEKGROUP indicates, companies now have more control over their own messages and how and when they are shared.
At the same time, the imperative for marketing and PR departments to become more closely integrated is fundamental. Greater collaboration for modern brand management and corporate storytelling is undeniably a critical success factor. Producing new and relevant content consistently and across multiple mediums and platforms is paramount to the success of these brands and the joint functions responsible.
So how can we support our more ambitious brand goals and strategies? Establish a robust editorial board for content planning and storytelling.
Communications, and public relations in particular, have gone through significant changes over recent years and are continuing to evolve at a rapid pace. Technology, the way we share information, a growing virtual workforce, and the dramatic shift in traditional media–these are all contributing factors to this metamorphosis of the profession.
Successfully keeping up with the innovations and increased competition requires a heightened level of skill and expertise. Today’s communicator must actively build and evolve skills to stay relevant, and to leap ahead of demand.
There are many important skills necessary to be a successful communicator, but I believe there is a core set that will differentiate the empowered master from the average communicator. These skills are important today, but will be even more critical for tomorrow.
Like many seasoned practitioners, I’ve often been approached by individuals seeking advice as they begin a career in the field of corporate communications and public relations (PR). Usually they ask for my opinion on what it’s really like to work in this profession day-to-day, or the best way to build a successful and fulfilling career.
There are loads of advice and numerous suggestions out there which are generally spot on. However, I always offer the caveat that there are certain factors making each experience unique. Things like geographic location, corporate culture, business or industry focus, company size, and executive leadership are just a few circumstances that can individualize an experience, for better or for worse.
For me, I came into the field in a non-traditional manner versus a more direct route. I didn’t set out to be here, but this is where I ended up. I actually prefer that this was an evolution for me as I think that brought me greater insights into people, the role, and the clients I serve.
Based on my personal experiences, as well as those I know in the industry and the paths they forged, I’ve compiled my best advice for anyone wanting to launch a career in corporation communications and PR.
What are the trends for the coming year? As with most predictions, they are an evolution from the years before, making them even easier to foretell. In other cases, there are those hidden gems that emerge, leapfrog, or completely transform beyond our wildest expectations. Therein lies the fun.
I believe that 2017 will continue to invigorate communications and PR, pushing the boundaries of our storytelling chops. From mobile and social, digital and visual, big data and content customization, the upcoming trends will allow brands to truly expand their creative communications toolkit.
As we review the field, there are plenty of elements where we can take our media tactics to the next level, but with an emphasis on greater integration. The strategic collaboration with other organizational functions will galvanize efforts, elevating brand visibility, value, and trust.