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Did digital kill the PR star?

By Alison Ellis

Businesses are facing a bewildering number of choices when it comes to deciding where to focus their marketing budget.

The convergence of public relations, marketing, social media and design makes it difficult to know who best to turn to for help.

In a world where self-publishing, selfies and content sharing are dominating the conversation, it’s got some people questioning whether the days of the PR professional are numbered.

I believe there’s never been a greater need for businesses to have an experienced guiding hand.

It’s precisely because of the constantly changing mix of communications channels and increasingly more diverse audiences that organisations need a clear, strategic approach to their communications.

PR is about creating strategies to build reputations

That’s where PR comes in. The role of PR isn’t to be an expert in Twitter or live streaming, although it’s important to know how to utilise these. PR is about building and protecting reputations by developing compelling stories and using the most appropriate channels to share those across various customer touch-points.

PR specialists help businesses build awareness, trust, and loyalty. By helping them to listen to their customers and speak their language, businesses will build a pool of people who understand and support them.

In the content driven climate, the thirst for a constant flow of new information, updates and entertainment has led to a tactical approach to communications and has weakened the importance of having a clear and continuous link back to core business objectives.

Taking time to strategically plan a communications programme, while leaving flexibility to respond to events as they happen, adds greater value to a company’s operations, and helps it achieve its objectives – whether that’s winning new customers, attracting top-class employees or making connections within their communities.

Working with a PR strategist gives businesses the edge.

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