The PR business is changing from an industry that once relied on traditional content producers, into a field that is leveraging new tools and crafting unique audio and video content itself.
Prior to the internet boom, if you had a story you wanted to tell you had a variety of options from local & network television, to radio, newspapers, and a wide variety of periodicals. So, your best bet was to craft a news release and start pitching to the respective outlets that you were targeting. Along the way you would find a number of different reactions from the standard “We’ll get back to you…” to the “That’s not something we would be interested in,” or “Send me more information.” Ultimately, if your story was accepted by an editor or a reporter, the final message was in their hands. You could only provide them with the information and coordinate an interview – from there it was up to them what would make the final cut.
While those were the rules of the game, for professionals who pride ourselves on helping our clients to tell their stories that created a pretty vulnerable and uncontrolled situation. Now, before I go on, of course I recognize that that type of situation still exists and that there are many talented individuals that still pitch and provide great results for their clients. However, with the advancement of the internet, the ubiquity of an internet connection from the PC to the cell phone and new gadgets such as the iPod and the iPad, a new channel to reach audiences has emerged.
It is this new channel, via the internet, that has ushered in the winds of change for the PR profession. Certainly, many have dealt with the client’s website, and added outreach efforts such as e-newsletters, and promotional e-mails for campaigns. But today, with the plethora of digital devices that allow consumers to easily download & tap into content, new avenues have emerged that allow us to directly distribute unique audio and video content that tells our stories.
In the process, PR professionals have gone through the shift from pitching & booking to creating & producing. The result is that our industry has become revitalized & exciting new opportunities have presented themselves to help tell our stories and reach niche markets. From iTunes, to YouTube, Twitter and Facebook, PR pros are the ones that are navigating the new online space and making sense of it for organizations and their initiatives.