PR and the Digital Transformation


The world of online news isn’t a newcomer to the game and, in fact, many of us will struggle to remember a time when the trusty newspaper was the source of all knowledge. Over the past decade a lot has changed in PR and, with the pace of digitalisation, the dynamism is set to continue. Here, we look back on a few of the key shifts that have adapted the way us PR professionals approach the industry.

Print vs. Online

For starters, there’s the age old argument of print vs. online coverage and which carries more value. Gone are the days of rushing to meet the print deadline for the local paper, nowadays you’d be hard pressed to find a media outlet that hasn’t got a strong online presence, too. Whether its 3pm or 3am, if a story breaks it’ll be plastered online and on social media within minutes – guaranteed.

I can’t deny that there’s something rather satisfying about flicking through a newspaper and seeing a press release you’ve written on one of the pages, but it’s a sad truth that newspaper sales are dwindling and its online news forums that now get the greatest readership.

Reactive vs. Proactive

Whilst, for many companies, reactive content remains common practice, with the increasing pace of the media it’s ever more prudent to take a step away from the much loved comfort blanket and adopt a more proactive approach.

Playing the waiting game with journalists and going back and forward over a pitch can be a lengthy process and sometimes with little reward, what companies should also be doing is having more courage in their convictions, going after the opportunities that they want and commenting on the topics most important to them – that way they can get the coverage they deserve, fast.

The Age of the Influencer 

Who knew that the power of the influencer could be so vast? Influencer collaborations are an increasingly popular way of driving traffic to websites and boosting sales – remember back in 2014 when Superdrug reported a 50% increase in visitors to its website after launching a product range with top YouTube star Zoella? This is exactly what we’re talking about.

Previously, brands relied heavily on celebrity endorsements and TV advertisements but the resident Millennials and Generation Z-ers definitely threw a spanner in the works with regards to consumer behaviour – now they must be given social proof from ‘real’ people before deciding to buy anything, hence the rise of bloggers, vloggers and instagrammers alike!

Social Media

Just like Marmite, when it comes to social media there’s people who love it and people who hate it. But, whichever end of the spectrum you sit on, social media is firmly here to stay.

Perceived by many as an ‘add on’ or a ‘nice to have’, from a PR perspective, it’s actually a core element in the structure of any successful PR campaign and a great way to show brand credibility amongst its consumers.

Keeping up with the times is key for any business and, with the pace of technology advancement and the fact that every other week there seems to be a new social media platform launching, it can be a tricky path to navigate.

Here at MK we’re well versed in communicating client messages through the most relevant channels to them and their stakeholders. Interested in learning more? Then please get in touch!