I’ve always had a pretty loose understanding of what the term “PR” means. I knew it meant “public relations,” but didn’t have that great of a grasp of what PR people actually do. From my understanding, public relations people are typically in charge of creating and maintaining the public image of a person, whether it be a celebrity or political figure, or any kind of organization or company. After reading Edelman’s talk, I realize that my prior understanding was in someway correct, but there’s still much more to working within PR.
Being in PR means you should be able to grasp your audiences’/consumers attention and reel them into what you’re pitching. Whatever you do should be engaging to them, whether it be doing that through social media, advertisements, deals and offers, etc.. But what’s more is that being in PR means you have to be creative and innovative; you need to be able to predict trends before they happen, and capitalize on them as soon as possible.
The internet is constantly moving at a rapid pace; something may be trending for a day or so after it has happened, then the internet will quickly move on to the next big thing. People within marketing and PR do their best to make sure they can be a part of these trends to make sure they reach a wider audience. And most of this takes place in the digital realm within social media. It’s hard to scroll through your Facebook feed and not see one of those popular How To videos on food recipes, with Buzzfeed’s Tasty being one of the most popular examples of this.
So many companies take advantage of utilizing social media as an advertisement venue, and it can be extremely effective. They’ve ditched the traditional straight forward approach of advertisement, and adapted a more entertaining or emotional way of marketing their products. Companies with clever marketing tend to get more love from consumers. For example, the marketing team for the newly released Marvel movie Deadpool, an anti-superhero R rated movie that was marketed as a drama/love story that would make the perfect Valentine’s Day movie date. The marketing team received so much praise for their outside of the box thinking with this campaign, as can be seen from their resulting box office record.
So PR isn’t just the act of trying to get more followers or consumers for your product, it’s the way you go about doing so. Advertisements can only be so effective if they’re not engaging enough for an audience. But once you start thinking outside of the box and being more creative with the way you go about marketing something, you’ll be sure to have a significantly higher number of supporters for what you do.