PR Means ‘Press Release’, Right?
By Pete Winter

PR Means ‘Press Release’, Right?

PR isn’t about press releases any more – it’s now one of the fastest-growing areas of marketing and can be the most effective. So why is PR important?


Plenty of folks still think PR means Press Release. It doesn’t.

Because today’s world isn’t multi-channel; it’s every-channel.

People use phones, pads and PCs interchangeably to access video, audio and snack-sized content, tossing words to the wind.

Then they Share and Like and Tweet, distilling your brand message.

Know which area of marketing puts the pieces back together?

Public Relations.

To find out why PR is important, saddle up and ride with us awhile. We’ll show you the new frontier.


THE NEW GOLD RUSH: get an idea

You need friends out here. And PR hired guns have plenty. But the moment your copy-approved content hits the web, audiences take it into their own hands. Count the numbers:

  • WhatsApp messages (430m active users)
  • SMS messages (145bn per year)
  • Status updates (55m on Facebook every day)
  • Personal blogs (2m posts every day)
  • Emails (294bn every 24 hours)

Which means PR today is less about getting ink. And more about winning hearts.

The days are gone when a PR agency could schmooze its way onto the front page. In a crowded market, journalism means be interesting or die.

Great PR guys don’t measure the advantages of public relations by the number of words they write. They work to make your ideas your audience’s ideas.

Millions retweeted Ellen’s Oscar selfie. But there was a backlash when they found out it was a paid-for PR campaign by Samsung.

PR gold happens when people take up your values as their own. Not by dealing them a bad hand.


IT’S IN THE TREES: know your audience

Still thinking PR means Press Release?

These days, PR isn’t even about what you write. It’s about what all those other folks write.

  • Only 0.08% of Tweets are retweeted unchanged
  • 71% of Millennials engage on social media daily
  • 60% of 18-36yr olds do not trust traditional media

They’re an unruly mob. But if you try to keep ’em in line… let’s just say you asked for it.

It’s not about control. It’s about influence.

Being the trusted source that can confirm each fact-checking blogger, the go-to guy for getting back on track when they’re lost.

In a world of a thousand voices, PR today is about being the most trusted guy in town.


WANTED, BIG REWARD: track down the influencers

Audiences are huge, but influencers are few.

Do you know who’s really calling the shots in your public image? Is it:

  • A teenage girl with a fast-growing YouTube channel?        
  • A cartoonist with just the right spin on your product?
  • An employee whose musings are read by customers?

They’re not the usual suspects. Often there aren’t many of them. And when they pop up on the horizon, it’s too late to chase them down.

Today’s PR professional has to know which influencers matter, before they know themselves.

That’s why a fat address book doesn’t win you a badge these days. Because there’s a chance your biggest brand influencer … hasn’t left school yet.

And if you can track down just the right people, your ROI can go off the charts.


THE MEASURE OF A MAN: get a grip on your numbers

These are the advantages of public relations today.

Your PR partner is a custodian of your core ideas. The go-to guy for information. And the sheriff who tracks down the people who really matter.

But these are huge challenges, too. And there are dangers everywhere, in every stray comment. (Would you trust your daughter with an app whose founder described it as “the safe way to sext“?)

So metrics matter more. And not those down-home “traditional” ones. New measures like..

  • Audience sentiment scoring
  • Predictive analytics
  • Insight-driven research

…turn raw data into magic you can use in strategy.



So to understand why PR is important today, don’t think press releases.

Think about big ideas, under a big blue sky. Audiences in the billions. Armies of content creators you can befriend and influence.

Making PR the hottest sector of marketing today.

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