So how has it changed…?
1. We don’t mail press releases. I remember mass-mailing by post every single press release to the same media list of editors, wasting postage in the hopes of getting a few clippings. And this was back in 1997! And I know of agencies (not mine) that were still using that practice as late as 2003.
2. PR is affordable. Sure you still have to pay a PR staff member, but without the cost of printing and postage, and the heavy use of email and social media, your costs are a lot lower than they used to be.
3. PR is instantaneous. You can alert journalists right now and get coverage online immediately. You don’t even have to wait for a newspaper to go to print.
4. PR is casual. There used to be this huge separation between journalists and public relations professionals. Now we interact, follow one another on Twitter, and are able to help one another in mutually beneficial ways. Many even respect us for our communications skills.
5. PR is flexible. The old rules are out, but the new rules are still in the making. Or rather, there are no rules. You can use social media, email or the phone to reach a journalist. It’s up to you. But pay attention to how the journalist wants to be contacted.
6. Press Releases are evolving. I need to write a post about how awesome the new interface on PRWeb is, but I’m happy to see the whole social media release thing being integrated into what we’re already doing. You can add a photo or video to your release too. Rich media adds value to what you can ‘sell’ in to the journalist.
7. Bloggers are part of PR. 10 years ago no one knew what a blogger was. Now they get media status at conferences (and the free pass that comes with it). They’re today’s reporters, and they don’t come with the attitude (yet) that so many busy journalists have toward PR pros.
8. There’s more than 1 way to skin a PR cat. A good PR strategy involves getting a release on a distribution site, reaching out to traditional media and connecting with bloggers. It’s also key to share the release through social media. All these add up to smart PR.
9. The space is getting bigger. Everyone moved away from PR to become social media experts. Boy, I’m glad I didn’t, because now people need companies that understand press releases and media relations.
10. Tools make PR easier. Tracking web traffic, now a key component of PR, is easy with sites like Google Alerts. You can measure your results exactly. And PRWeb does a fantastic job of offering analytics on releases.