The evolution and influence of PR – how PR is morphing into a new creature

Wednesday, 9 November 2016, 14:24 | Category : Guest Blogger
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Mary Jones is a lifestyle PR consultant and senior associate at The PR Network

www.linkedin.com/in/maryjonespr

 

PR is evolving and many businesses still only understand media relations, but it is so much more than that. Here at The PR Network we work to show businesses that it’s about building key relationships not just with the media, but with influencers, customers and businesses – as well as the in-house team functions such as sales and finance.

Take for example a self-published spiritual author, Tanishka, who recently toured the UK and came to The PR Network to handle her publicity. She was completely unknown here before the tour, so our first steps were to decide how we best portray the brand in the UK. Before starting we carried out some groundwork to understand the brand values and adapted these to crystallise the messages. We ensured there was a consistency of message that resonated with her niche audience – women with an interest in astrology, spirituality and green living. By working with her in-house team, the website was modified to reflect this branding. We ensured we communicated these core messages via blogs, social media, newsletters as well as local groups and the media.

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We started to engage with other sites and write on their platforms We then connected with key influencers such as Michele Knight – award-winning psychic, clairvoyant and author – who posted her support for Tanishka’s tour as well as setting up one to ones with influencers in the spiritual community, paving the way for future brand development. Third party endorsements started to build her credibility.

We also advised on reaching out to local women’s groups near her talks by creating offers and interesting content for their sites, so taking advantage of potential business with the local community.

Media activity included calls to action to sign up to a course so turning PR into lead generation. Media relations was not limited to tour announcements in listings press, it was used to develop branded content on influential sites and bloggers such as Soul & Spirit, Kindred Spirit, Spirit & Destiny, GAIA, Fate & Fortune, Passion for the Planet, Elephant Journal and Evolve & Ascend.

This media coverage in turn was promoted on her social media and on her newsletters. Throughout we ensured we listened to our audience on social media, asking for the opinions, listening to their ideas and complaints giving us an opportunity to do better and creating a loyalty amongst her half million facebook fans.

Creating a profile for Tanishka has now laid the ground work for future celebrity endorsements and third party partnerships.

With over 15 publications mentioning Tanishka and with a 2 million reach on and offline, we approached the world’s biggest publisher on spiritual books – Hay House. We developed a pitch proposal, attended a meeting with commissioning editor and managing director – we were asked to submit a book proposal which we worked closely on resulting in an international book offer and an interactive online course that’s launching Spring 2017!

So as PR practitioners or perhaps it’s better to call ourselves “communications consultants”, we have the chance and opportunity to build relationships in a more meaningful way by embracing this new PR model.

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