Pr Has Changed. Or Has It?


Recently, we’ve been rechecking our client proposition at Siren Communications. A regular recheck has been a critical part of our business journey because what we do and how we do it is constantly evolving and it’s important to ensure we remain ahead of our competitors and on top of our game so we can add real value to a client’s business. To do this we have to remain in touch with what our clients need and how PR and communications is innovating. It has been a really reassuring process to go through and look at what we do and how we do it, to help us be even better at what we do and for more people.

What is evident from our business review and analysis is that despite the explosion of digital communications – and the struggle of the media to reinvent and reapply itself to today’s sharing economy – is that what remains at the heart of PR is the ability to find and tell a good story for our clients/employers.

Watching the BAFTAs this year, Mark Rylance cleverly angled his acceptance speech for Best Actor into a simple and central message, which was ‘we are a nation of story tellers and that we do this better than anyone else in the world’.

This rings so true and I really believe that in a nutshell, telling stories for business is what we (PR people) do far, far better than any other business functions. This was supported recently by Danny Rogers and the most absolutely fabulous of all PR people, Lynne Franks (in July’s Woman and Home), who recommends to all wannabe PR people – ‘become an expert story teller’. In fact, we’ve made this the underpinning message on the new Siren Communications website

So, if what we do today is storytelling, how do we now do this in our multi-channel world that is changing so much, so fast and so monumentally? Traditionally, of course, we’ve done this via media or third party endorsement, through stake-holder and influencer communications and face-to-face marketing. There are multiple channels to exploit and so many ways to reach the important people that at times it seems a gargantuan task.

Of course, this isn’t without its challenges. There are more channels and these channels will continue to expand, change and require different technical wizardry and experimentation in the effectiveness of delivering a message. But central to everything is THE STORY. And that fact hasn’t changed in hundreds, perhaps thousands of years. Nor do I personally think it will for the foreseeable future.

Whether it’s announcing good news, preventing or reducing the impact of bad news, simply broadcasting factual, day to day information internally or externally or developing a stand-out WOW piece, a PR function’s purpose remains to ‘tell and build the story’. We do this by creating and managing the conversations that the business is having with its audiences.

This can be distributed in person, via a third party or direct to the consumer. That message can be delivered by email, social media, through speech, in writing or on film. PR people craft, create and tell a story in a way that is impactful and engaging to its audience. But isn’t that what we have always done?

Well yes…but now our role can be bigger and more central. And because we are more central and in contact with so many areas of an organisation, the opportunity for PR to become recognised as the valuable and impactful tool it always has been is enormous. PR’s remit is broader, wider and taller than it’s ever been before. We humble PRs, once banished to the office away from the marketing team, and next to the corporate entertainment cupboard along from the CEOs office (yes, that is where I started by first PR job!), now have the opportunity to reach all levels of an organisation. We have the chance to show off those multi-faceted skills that have always guided, shaped and improved the value of that organisation by supporting the business to find its voice, and create and maintain conversations with its important people.

To paraphrase Mark Rylance, ‘We are a nation of story tellers and we are admired around the world for it.’ PR simply takes those skills and harnesses them for our clients, businesses and brands and we do it with the same, flare and creativity we have always used to break through the noise and get the story to the people you want to reach.

If you are unsure about how to find and tell the story for your business, why not get in touch with us. We are expert storytellers, we can help you find the message, craft and shape it and roll your story across the right channels to reach your audience.