Do we need PR in 2019?

With 13 days until 2019, let’s turn our attention to whether organisations still need PR.

The short answer: yes.

The longer answer: hell, yes.

As long as reputation, stakeholders and relationships are important to organisations – across nonprofits, private enterprise, government and more – PR will continue to be useful and valuable.

[Related reading A Snapshot of Public Relations, which explains the difference between PR and marketing]

If you’re in the mood for PR housekeeping in the new year, you may want to:

  1. Conduct a communications audit. This involves listing all of your current communications methods and channels (enewsletters, industry networking, paid advertising, social media) alongside a list of all your stakeholders (customers, partners, suppliers, staff). What’s working? Is anything missing? Did you let something lapse? What can you improve? What can you switch off – and is there something new that you can try in 2019?
  2. Check out the competition. You may also want to spend time, in between reading a novel on the beach this summer, analysing the PR program of your competitors. Are they achieving good media coverage? What’s their enewsletter looking like? Does their management hold positions on industry boards; are they being invited to speak on panels? This is another good source of ideas for you, as well as being an important scan of your competitive environment.
  3. Refresh your crisis communications plan. This may need a substantial rewrite, if new and more complex issues are emerging in your industry. Or it may just need a quick update, in terms of the names and phone numbers of people listed in the comms team index. [Related reading: Five-minute crisis comms].
  4. Finally, can your business “do more good” in 2019? (As I believe I can “do more good” in the phrasing of this paragraph). Perhaps you can give more to charities in your community, offer placements to more interns, initiate a scholarship, or improve the environmental impact of your business. It’s part of the important relationship-building that’s a core of good PR.

I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and New Year.

 

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