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Now is the time for real time PR

The 5 reasons why you should engage in real time PR.

Companies are scoring well with retweets when newsjacking, but confidence in their CEOs is at rock bottom. For effective and real-time reputation management, active involvement of the entire organization is indispensable. Here are five reasons why your entire organization needs to engage in real time PR now.

It's almost an understatement to say that PR professionals have seen tremendous changes in their field in recent years. Disruptive technologies, new trends and tools have redefined the business, while the number of online (social) media channels continue to increase. The effectiveness of the old-fashioned press release is far behind us. In many instances, a press release is still justifiable, but with a decreasing corps of journalists, they often have little effect. Hence the fact that wire and press release distribution services are feeling the painful consequences; organizations are less willing to spend their PR budget on non-effective distribution services. They rather invest an increasing share of their money on the production of quality content and more potent and effective online environments such as newsrooms and curation hubs to ensure distribution.

Bart Verhulst, Co-founder and CCO of PressPage
Real-Time PR does not only require monitoring online and offline media. It also calls for active engagement of the entire organization.
Bart Verhulst, Co-founder and CCO of PressPage

Engage your audience

Online environments and social media -- in contrast to traditional wire distribution-- offer many opportunities to reach a better and potentially larger audience. However, the speed and interactivity of these channels require a vastly different approach and attitude from the PR professional. In order to arouse and hold the interest of your audience, your content should be stimulating and offer a variety in angles. In other words, not be too monotonous. The trend of extended copy being alternated with, or replaced by visual content and other rich media in a way proves this concept.

The ultimate goal is the use of visual content that is not only very powerful for storytelling, but also involves the audience in the activities of the organization. As an example, live streams and even the use of virtual reality, allow PR professionals to make their audience a part of the message instead of just informing them.

Understanding the NOW with real time PR

The available arsenal of tools that can be used for Real time PR purposes is more diverse than ever. PR departments, therefore, also use a vast array of these (often disconnected) tools in order to make sense of the constant flow of online messages. The practice of real time PR --in essence an (inter) active live performance of trend watching and reputation management-- is unthinkable without these types monitoring and curation tools. However, most organizations have not yet embraced the extensive possibilities they offer and often also have an unclear vision of what to do with the possibilities they offer.

There are enough examples of newsjacking and funny Twitter fights by brands. Companies like Heineken, Verizon and KLM are known for their successful campaigns and comments on social media. Although these expressions provide the organization with a sympathetic boost, it is not providing any benefits for their leadership. According to the latest edition of the 2017 Edelman Trust Barometer the confidence in has CEOs plummeted to a record low (see below, sheet 17).

Everyone has a role to play, from trainee to CEO

There is a tremendous gap between the reputation potential that real time PR can provide and the general level of distrust in leadership. Executives would do well to actively engage more openly with the world around them and establish themselves as one of the faces of the organization. And by using the plural, they are not alone. Employees and interns also represent a brand, and for someone who follows a hashtag on Twitter, the tweets of a trainee are as visible as the tweets of the CEO. Everyone has a stake in shaping the timeline.

All this is further enlarged and strengthened in a time of crisis, to which no organization is immune. The benefits of real-time PR can be of major importance during a crisis. Well trained employees and a detailed plan for real-time crisis management can make the difference between a controlled setback and an image disaster.

5 reasons why everyone should engage in real time PR

Overall, there are five reasons why every organization, and the humans that represent it, should engage in real time PR:

  1. The field of the PR professional has spread across many digital platforms that all move at an incredible pace. Maybe the PR department cannot cope with all of it alone?

  2. To only inform is just not good enough. An audience should be quickly and actively involved in your public relations, not only by means of text, but also in a visually compelling manner with images and/or video.

  3. It is hard to miss an opportunity to engage in real time PR. New tools for real-time monitoring and trend watching are quickly becoming more available and affordable.

  4. Not only the posts of the CEO, but also those of employees lower down the hierarchy appear in a public timeline. When everyone is well trained, they can all contribute positively to the reputation of the organization.

  5. Real time PR is essential in times of crisis and should therefore be given a permanent place in the communication.
About PressPage

PressPage provides a SaaS PR platform with additional services for creation of advanced social newsrooms, virtual press centers and online media hubs. It enables brands to publish and distribute rich content, and provides direct insights into the results. PressPage empowers PR professionals by adding efficiency and effectiveness to their daily work routine.