I think of HOW FUN our job has become. Challenging, true, but very fun. After decades of media relations and pitching, everything is suddenly changing. Like the first summer monsoon washing away a year’s worth of dust, or a squeeze of fresh lemon bursting on your tongue when you sip water, the industry is becoming infused with new ideas, new influencers and experts, and a deluge of alternatives to grow visibility.
It’s refreshing. It’s wonderful!!
Today’s stronger focus on social media and content marketing is also bridging the gap between digital experts and traditionalists, link builders and content creators, community managers and customer service. That closing gap is creating much of the fresh thinking, because we’re trying to simultaneously accomplish their goals and ours. We’re thinking differently.
It’s also coming from those without a lick of public relations experience who are suddenly writing content and pitching bloggers. New options for brand journalism–publishing your own news and building your own audience instead of relying on media audiences–and blogging has brought PR to everyone’s attention. It’s also brought a wider variety of marketers and entrepreneurs into the fold as newbie PR pros.
PR is suddenly sexy again. Everybody’s interested.
Public relations seems more approachable, more doable–instead of a secret process only an expert dare tackle. Anyone can create content, blog and launch a new social media page. Anyone can connect with influencers and write a guest blog post.
I throw out a challenge to veteran PR professionals. How can you use the shifts in PR to change your tactics? Change your habits?
Industry changes are a fabulous reason to dump some old habits and shift to MINDFUL PR.
We tend to do things the same way because that’s how WE’VE ALWAYS DONE IT. The longer someone one has been in an industry, the more that mindset can take over and block creativity, and we don’t even realise it. Can we use that infusion of fresh thinking to inspire some of our own? To break long-standing habits?
We’re competing for PR dollars with generalists who have more digital experience than a traditional PR pro has, and the best way to compete is to build our own digital skills. Embracing change is a great starting point.
I love the idea of taking one task or tactic this week and isolating it as an experiment. Instead of doing that one thing like you’ve always done it, how can you shake things up and try a new approach?
Shift to Mindful PR, Instead of Habit-Driven
Off the top of my head, here are a few examples:
1. You are writing a press release, and you’ve always followed a very traditional template for headline and text. What can you do to include more visuals? (Hello, Fiverr or Canva!) How can you edit that template to encourage social media sharing (pre-written posts/tweets at the bottom, perhaps?) What happens if you decide NOT to use the traditional press release template? Instead of automatically doing what you always do, how can you change the process, your approach or the template used?
2. A new client just started, so it’s time to build a media list. What happens if you DON’T build one? If you identify one publication each week, identify the right contact at that publication, then send a custom pitch? How does that impact your success rate?
3. You’d like to grow your media relationships. Normally that means you tell them you like an article they just wrote, then send a pitch. What happens if you put aside your own needs completely and just focus on them, one at a time? If you treat them like an admired person you’d like to befriend or the start of an ongoing conversation, instead of a business transaction?
5. You’ve never tried to secure a guest blog post. What happens if you add this new tactic to what you typically do, by investing just one hour a month to blogger relations? It doesn’t take long to identify a blogger that fits your industry or what you are trying to accomplish, subscribe to their blog and follow them on social media, then pitch them. Did you land the post?
It’s always good to stop and consciously think about a process. It’s like taking a yoga class and mindfully going through the movements. What happens if everyone suddenly does mindful PR, putting aside the stress and frenetic activity in favor of one mindful action at a time?
IT COULD BE FABULOUS.