For decades, small and medium sized businesses have used PR as a way to compete with larger companies. Although SMBs have smaller marketing budgets than their large corporate counterparts, a smart PR strategy can leverage the distribution capacity of targeted media outlets and place focused (and free) brand messaging pieces alongside the competition's pricey print ads and commercials.
Going forward, PR will continue to play a role in many companies' marketing mixes. However, the Internet and other factors are changing the way PR is applied and in some cases, transforming long-held beliefs about PR methodology. These changes will have a dramatic impact on SMBs that rely on PR to spread the word about their products and brands. Here are some of the PR trends Walker Sands is seeing and how they might affect your business.
- Geolocation. Geolocation is a rising tide in a society that is increasingly reliant of mobile device technology. Consumers are buying smartphones in record numbers and using online features such as Foursquare and Facebook Places to access location-based information or discounts. This year, expect PR to cash in on the revolution with strategies that tailor PR content to the reader's physical location.
- Paid placements. Purists view paid PR placements as anathema. But as the digital age matures, it's becoming commonplace for PR and marketing professionals to leverage paid placements, sometimes even in traditionally independent media outlets. Don't be offended if you're asked to provide some form of compensation for outlets or individuals that advocate for your brand.
- Social media metrics. Not surprisingly, social media and PR have become fast bedfellows. Social networking is a natural fit for PR strategies because it disseminates brand content through an exceptionally wide distribution channel, populated by objective third parties. Walker Sands and other top-tier PR firms are to poised to place a greater emphasis on quantifying the returns from social media so we can achieve even better exposure for our clients.
- Interdisciplinary approaches. More than ever before, the lines between PR, marketing, and other disciplines are blurring. As a result, successful PR campaigns take an interdisciplinary approach that is fully coordinated and integrated with other brand messaging disciplines.
At Walker Sands, we go the extra mile to stay ahead of today's most important PR trends so you don't have to. Contact our team today and get started on turning this year's trends into real exposure for your business.