Don’t Throw The Baby Out With The Bath Water
Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water
We were at a conference last week entitled ‘PR Is Changing’. There were some interesting points raised (is it acceptable for your customer service team to knock off from Twitter at 8pm? Does nothing interesting happen between 8pm and 8am?), there were the same old points raised (how do we retain senior talent in the industry? In my humble and entirely ‘unbiased’ opinion, I would say offering more part-time positions might help in our traditionally female industry) and there was, as ever, something new to learn.
What interested me was what we can learn from the past and take forward in our comms practice in the future.
At the heart of what we do today, telling our clients’ stories, in the places that they can be heard, is and always has been the skill of identifying a relevant story and telling it in the right way via the right channel. The only difference today is that the channels are so much more varied than they used to be.
Daniel Dodd, Director of Communications and Content at the National Trust summed it up nicely. His background comes from a long career at the BBC and he has brought that world-famous newsroom approach to the National Trust. Take the essence of the story and roll it out across all appropriate channels. Create Once, Publish Everywhere, takes an ominchannel approach – a joined up story with consistency of message combined with a tailored approach for each channel. For the NT their audience profile is far and wide so making a story work hard is inherent in everything they do. But there are lessons for all of us – the press release may not be the beacon that it was, it can still be the basis of our comms plan – the headline should make a great tweet, the copy be re-written for the owned website or the earned online presence, edited and an opinion added for a blog post, and beautiful content created to bring the story to life visually.
So while the essence of the conference was about how PR was changing, I think PR has always been evolving but we must remember not to throw the baby out with the bath water.