Everyone loves a good story, it’s human nature, and one of the core deliverables of any public relations agency is to deliver stories for their clients. But with the shifting sands of the media landscape and everchanging consumer behavior and the ways they engage with brands on digital devices via their social media accounts and online media platforms it is imperative that those stories capture the attention of the audience and drive conversion.
Everyone is a media outlet
Traditionally a public relation agency’s role was to pitch factual and detail laden stories to journalists and editors in an age where traditional media platforms such as print and television reigned supreme, but then along came the Internet of Things (IoT) and everything changed. Consumers now have much more control over what they read and how they react to those messages, in a sense every person is now a media outlet of one. Add to that the introduction of social media influencers and we have an entirely new media maze to navigate. So how can we connect with consumers who are confronted with mass messaging every day and ensure we capture their attention with our client’s stories? The answer is to get more creative.
All eyes on digital
Attention spans are short and people are confronted with more content on their screens than they can actually consume, so the stories we deliver for clients need to be condensed and eye capturing to ensure engagement. We’re living in a world where we need to slow down the scroll or swipe actions to get our stories seen and read. Developing owned media with visual tools such as video, GIFs, and easily digestible infographics to maximize that brief glimpse we get from those staring at their phones is one way we can engage more effectively.
The new ROI: Return On Intent
Every story needs to have a reason to be told, it needs to be delivering for the client’s brand and it has to have a reason to be of interest to the reader, it needs intent. To ensure the best results we must understand the behavior of the target audience. Analytics are imperative to achieve this goal, it gives us insights into the content people are reading or skipping and what is influencing their purchasing decisions. With a number of data tools available to us today it is now much easier to calculate the ROI on digital campaigns.
The future is still being told
So what is the next chapter for the public relations industry? It could be summed up with a phrase we all know well – ‘same same but different’. We need to continue to be the masters of crafting engaging stories but we must be more creative in the ways we tell them.
Joseph Henry is the founder and CEO of Vivaldi Public Relation Agency.
He is an expert communicator and influencer who has been helping leading companies achieve their strategic objectives in Asia for the last 20 years.