It is becoming a cliché now to talk about the media and public relations in the scope of a "changing landscape" and a non-stop move towards digital.
But as with most clichés, it happens to be true.
Print isn't dead, but it is in decline and the priority of businesses to be found online, improve their search rankings, reach larger audiences with multi-channel marketing and build their reputation means the priority for public relations consultancies has to change - enter Inbound PR.
Inbound PR is a natural evolution of the industry, taking the things PR pros have always done well (content creation and media outreach) and improving what the industry has always been poor at (measurement).
In this blog we look at how Inbound PR is changing how consultancies operate and why it is the future of the public relations landscape.
1. Everything is Digital
Online reputation management is now one of the biggest expectations amongst clients - according to 51% of respondents in the PRCA's latest Digital PR report.
Like it or not, Google is the new high street and for any B2B company, having a website which is easily findable and appears near the top of SEO rankings is a fundamental aspect of doing business - especially considering that 90% of B2B buyers start with an online search.
Traditional PR - the process of creating a single press release, firing it off to a few select contacts and then forgetting about it - doesn't cut it in this new environment.
Digital Inbound PR on the other hand, takes the content generation of public relations and adapts it to meet the need to not only create and disseminate content for the media, but to use the same content on multiple platforms.
Whether this is creating blogs for a website or turning a market research report into an infographic for use on social media - Inbound PR professionals understand the need to get the most out of the content they are producing to reach as wide an audience as possible.
2. Everything is measurable
Effective measurement and public relations have never been synonymous with one another.
Whether it's relying on page impressions, newspaper and magazine circulations or the defunct and completely useless method of advertising value equivalent (AVE) a huge number of PR agencies are yet to crack the conundrum of measurement and justifying the ROI of what they do.
And this is not lost on the industry with 75% of PR comms professionals admitting that they need to do a better job on measurement, according to a survey by Cision.
Inbound PR however is measurable and uses data-driven evaluation to prove exactly what PR activity is doing for a business' online reputation, SEO rankings and lead-generation; whether this is measuring organic web visits or referrals from press websites, to MQLs, to actual sales which started from PR activity - Inbound PR can measure it all.
3. Inbound PR is in demand
In the past, a PR agency may have been brought contacts to get a business into some trade titles and the occasional national newspaper, but Inbound PR agencies can do a lot more for a business - and these skills are now in demand.
Nearly a quarter (73%) of businesses now want to be on social media to increase their brand awareness while 79% admit to needing more content generation to boost their marketing efforts.
Inbound PR utilises the full range of Earned, Owned and Paid media platforms to create omni-channel campaigns to reach a business' audience wherever they are and provide data-driven measurement and analysis to prove ROI at every stage.