I was very pleased to recently be asked to sit on a panel at the launch of the PRCA Digital Report. But it quickly became clear that many of the problems keeping big agencies awake at night are simply not things we have to worry about.
I also couldn’t help but agree with a few familiar faces in the audience that there really is no “analogue” and “digital” PR. Often, Digital is just a word used to replace “new”.
It’s a bit like when people use the word “millennial” instead of just saying “young people”.
So, looking at the findings, what’s not new?
Online media. Once new, now ordinary (special mention to “online press release distribution.”)
Blogger outreach. Once new, now ordinary.
Is it really that hard to see things like making videos and continuing to integrate social into strategy seamlessly becoming normal?
All technology is really just a matter of evolution. It’s about enhancement and adaptation — all words that describe starting with something and gradually growing or changing that thing.
The thing about this is, we can expand into these new areas most successfully by using what we have been great at historically.
Look at two of the fastest-growing budget areas: Video and sponsored social.
Who is better suited than PRs to find stories, interviews, customers, great material that can be used for video?
Who is better suited than PRs to help produce short, focused stories and pitch-like snippets to amplify on social — especially then we have often been the genesis of the great owned or earner material being megaphoned?
If you already do case studies, think about how you can record and flip the output of those interviews in a constellation of different ways.
If you already pitch stories to journalists and influencers online, why not interview them back about the wider context for your own blog?
I’m a firm believer that what made us great at “old” PR will continue to make us great at the new.
Stop asking if you can do something digital. Start thinking about how you can do something new.