Public Relations & Digital Meet in 2017

It’s a new year…and time to talk about more changes on the horizon and how the fast-paced digital world is impacting PR.

Reputation Management is More Important Than Ever

We’re sure you’ve been hearing your brand should be “alive and well” in the digital arena these days, and it should.  While consumers have more ways to shop today, they also have more data to make informed decisions about their purchases. Company and product reviews are more important than ever and it’s crucial those reviews are managed.

In fact, eighty-eight percent of online shoppers say reviews are important to their online purchasing decisions. From Facebook to Google, Yelp to Trip Advisor, consumers have access to the good, the bad and the downright ugly. The key here—never take a bad review lightly. Your potential customers won’t.

If you get a bad review, respond as quickly as possible. Make contact and then direct the reviewer to continue the conversation offline. Invite them to contact you directly via email or messaging. Consider offering a discount if possible. By responding and not ignoring negative reviews, this will show anyone reading the reviews that you care, and if you’re lucky, that reviewer will get back online and talk about how you made it right. Ignoring a bad review is the worst thing any company can do. It basically tells anyone looking at your product that you don’t care about your customers.

Online reviews will continue to explode in 2017, being both an asset and challenge for companies. In those challenging times, one-click algorithms from IT firms that send out generic responses won’t do the trick. They come across disingenuous and likely will not give you, or your customer the result you want. It’s important careful consideration be given to each poor review.

Build a Meaningful Relationship

Public Relations is becoming more and more about content management and seeking out opportunities to connect with target audiences. While building a positive relationship with the media is crucial, PR now presents an opportunity to build relationships directly with consumers.

Platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and blogs offer an avenue for companies to develop and maintain meaningful relationships with their audience. But don’t forget that relationship with the media—these platforms also pave the way for great relationships with journalists. Providing ready-to-go facts prove beneficial for journalists, and if those facts provoke conversations, likes and shares—those journalists will keep coming back for more. Having the right strategy for public relations outreach makes a world of difference.

Press Releases Evolve

Long press releases with corporate messaging will soon become more of a contributor pitch, with ready-to-go facts that prove beneficial for journalists. Think about topics that provoke comments, likes and shares…and then put yourself in the journalists’ shoes. What topics will garner a large audience and engagement for them?

Speaking of those press releases, third-party research is becoming more crucial in a successful media pitch. Media is becoming much more cautious of the information coming in the form of a press release. Avoid an obvious “commercial” for your product or company. Third-party statistics from a reputable source will help boost your pitch. Taking it a step further by contacting that third-party to see if they’d make themselves available for the story, may just seal the deal.

Be Part of the Pitch with Live Video

Consumers today, and almost all of them, would much rather watch a video than read a press release. Leveraging live stream tools such as Facebook Live will help companies connect and engage with their desired audience. Live video accounts for billions of views on Facebook, Periscope and other platforms. Plus, Instagram just announced its adding live video too.

Remember, video is not going away—and will become a huge component in conversations and brand development in 2017.

Marketing agencies with a PR team in place have all the tools and skills necessary to develop strategies for meaningful content, to monitor and respond to reviews in a timely fashion, and to create press releases that will stand out. GRIT has an award-winning PR team in place and would be happy to help your business develop a strategy that best fits your needs. Contact us today!