Why You Still Need Traditional PR in the Age of Social Media

There is the misconception by some marketers that traditional PR is dead. For some time, I bought into that idea – despite traditional PR being how I’ve made my living since 2002 and still is as I write this blog post.

However, traditional PR still has a valuable role and it’s not going away anytime soon. Here are some reasons why:

Telling your brand’s story

When talking about your product or service, it’s important to leave a long-lasting and desirable impression. Being personable, engaging, interesting and well-spoken when you’re standing in front of people is still paramount.

This is something that most PR people have a knack for, and if you’re a company that exhibits at tradeshows, talks directly with the press, etc. then this is the kind of person you want by your side or in the background, depending on the situation. The ability to engage and tell a good story makes for great press.

A good PR person or team is charismatic and well-informed. They are the driving force behind securing and developing your next case study, as well as getting it published.

Not only can they use their personality and knowledge to represent your brand the best way possible, but they can help you be the best representative too. Your PR team can provide you media training before interviews, press conferences and speaking engagements to ensure that you put your best foot – and messaging – forward.

News is still important

People still enjoy reading articles, case studies, brochures, even news releases. There is and always will be an art to PR writing. Not everyone can do it. And the New York Times and Newsweek are still publishing articles, demonstrating the importance of good PR. In fact, many top publications are actually increasing jobs within journalism to cover a variety of topics and do more investigative work.

Without having PR people to feed those reporters stories, their jobs are much more difficult. Journalists not only want to be pitched; they need it. An editor can only come up with so many stories before they’re on the lookout for additional angles.

PR’s symbiotic relationship with social media

One of the first things you learn in a college marketing class is that the “marketing mix” is only successful when all of its components are integrated. As such, any marketer that thinks they can scrap their company’s PR program for a social-only plan is crippling their communications efforts. You need both.

When you have no press releases, case studies or thought leadership articles appearing in the press from your company or a chosen spokesperson, your brand runs the risk of losing a connection with the segment of your audience that still reads their news in a trade magazine. Plus, you have that much less content to push out through your social channels.

The bottom line is that PR will always be a part of the marketing mix for any successful communications plan. It may not play the prominent role that it did 10 or even five years ago in many industries, but don’t count it out just yet.

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About the Author: Vicki Hoffman

Vicki Hoffman

Vicki is an Account Supervisor at in|fusion.