#ContentWritingChat Recap: The Role of PR in an Internet-Based Media Age with Shannon Renee

Hey, friends! Did you miss #ContentWritingChat this week? Have no fear! You can get caught up with our recap and learn all about public relations from our chat participants.

#ContentWritingChat Recap: The Role of PR in an Internet-Based Media Age with Shannon Renee

This week, our guest host was Shannon Mouton Gray. Shannon is the Managing Director of McKinney & Associates, a public relations firm.

Q1: Many argue that PR isn’t as worthwhile as it once was in today’s online age. Thoughts?

There’s been a pretty hot debate lately about whether or not PR is still important in this online age. What did people from Tuesday’s chat have to say? Find out:

Shannon believes PR is just as important today as it was years ago. In fact, she thinks it may be even more important now.

Brandie agreed that PR is still a necessity for brands. Even though times have changed, it’s still important.

Zala knows PR has changed over the years, but she still sees it as being relevant.

Q2: What would you say to those who no longer value PR to convince them otherwise?

If someone told you they didn’t value PR anymore, but you did, what would you say to them? Here’s what we heard from our chat participants:

As Shannon said, social media is a form of public relations and it has to be monitored. You want to know what others are saying about your brand.

Ray knows that having a positive brand message and telling it consistently is good for business. A PR team can help you with that.

Bill knows it’s not easy to change someone’s mind, especially if they’re stuck in their ways. The best thing you can do is to show someone the ROI that PR can provide.

Having a PR team behind you is also helpful in a time of crisis. If something goes wrong with your brand, your PR team can step in and take control.

Julia said you still need PR if you want to spread the news about your business. The channels in which you do it are just different. Here at Express Writers, we also know the power of a great press release. Show the naysayers exactly what a well-written press release can do for their brand.

Q3: How has PR changed in recent years due to this internet-based age?

As we’ve already discussed, PR has definitely changed over the years. What changes have occurred? Here’s what you need to know:

Shannon feels monitoring PR has become even more important than it once was. You need to monitor not only what your brand puts out there, but also was other people are saying.

It seems Halle from CoSchedule agrees with Shannon! There’s even more of a need for monitoring nowadays.

Katie from globalHMA said the methods of reaching publications have changed these days. Now, we have the opportunity to go straight to the audience with the help of social media.

Amanda feels it’s become easier to monitor and you now have a greater opportunity to spread your content far and wide.

Erika said PR has become more about strategic content creation and placement and building thought leadership. As she said, PR and content are basically joined at the hip with social media. They all go hand-in-hand.

Absolutely! Brandie is spot on when she says you need to have a strong digital footprint and social experience.

As Julia said, the channels have now improved. With the right distribution outlet, you can reach Fox and CNN. You can even utilize social media to start conversations with the right people.

Although there have been changes in the world of PR, the main premise stays the same. It’s still largely about building brand awareness and loyalty.

Q4: How hasn’t PR changed?

Despite the changes that have occurred over recent years, there are still many things about PR that have remained the same.

Shannon said PR is still about building relationships and creating content. Forging bonds with outlets is still relevant, but there are just a lot more outlets these days. She also knows good content is just as important today as it was before.

Kristen and Ray seem to be on the same page as Shannon. They both agreed that PR is largely about building relationships.

As Sarah said, the focus of PR is still about getting the brand out there. We’re just able to go about it in different ways, thanks to today’s internet age.

Halle feels PR hasn’t changed, but the media has. With all the social media outlets available today, there’s even more of a need for a public relations team.

Great answer from Bill! He said PR will always be the bridge between your organization and your audience.

Q5: PR writing tips: discuss how to write a great online press release.

How can you create your own press release for your brand? Check out these tips:

Shannon said to make sure your press release has a pithy headline and needs to be well-written. You should also include all the important information people need to know.

The McKinney & Associates team said you should make your press release shareable. In order to do this, keep it clear, straightforward, and accurate.

Kristen’s advice is to get straight to point. Answer the “So what?” question about your business.

Always keep your audience in mind, first and foremost. You’re writing for them.

Make sure you get your press release out in a timely manner. Halle also recommends keeping it short and sticking to the facts.

If you’re angling your press release for a certain publication, you should follow their style guide. Ray also said you should answer the 5 W’s when writing.

What’s Julia’s suggestion? Get a journalist! Get an expert to write the news for your brand. That’s something we can help with at Express Writers, too!

Our Content Manager, Katria, chimed in with her advice. She said to write a catchy headline and a precise summary. You should also mention social media outlets and include an about section.

Cheryl said to keep it precise, answer a question or solve a problem, and be useful.

Don’t make them guess what your brand’s press release is about. Be clear and make your most important points. Use descriptive language that will draw them in and keep them reading the entire thing.

Q6: How can you evolve your PR strategy to keep up in this internet-based age?

With so many changes occurring, how can you keep up? Evolve your PR strategy by following this advice from our chat participants:

Shannon said with some projects you just can’t afford to wait until tomorrow. That’s definitely something to keep in mind!

Cheryl knows monitoring is important. The good news is, there are a ton of tools available to us today. Take advantage of that by using them!

Make sure you stay up-to-date with where your audience is strongest. Great tip!

Halle said to never stop learning. You want to stay on top of the changes within the media so you know what’s going on and can adapt.

Erika’s advice is to hire a consultant. She feels you can learn a lot by working with someone to develop your strategy.

Katria suggests investing time into social media and knowing how to effectively use each of the platforms. After all, social media is a powerful tool if you know the right way to use it.

Don’t be afraid to try new things. Find other ways and outlets to reach your audience.

Q7: What do you see coming up for the future of PR?

What’s in store for the future of PR? Here are some predictions straight from Tuesday’s chat:

With the increase in trolls, bots, spam, etc., Shannon believes monitoring will continue to become even more important. Be prepared!

She also sees visuals becoming a larger part of PR with people using more images, photos, videos, and GIFs.

Could you see press releases becoming more focused on video? It just might be a great way to grab the attention of your audience.

Katie sees brands doing more work with thought leaders and ambassadors.

Andrew believes everything will continue to blend into inbound marketing as a whole.

Bill sees communications, marketing, and social media positions coming together to form one mega team. It sure is a great way to take advantage of each person’s skills and experience.

Halle sees an interactive and participatory future for PR. It’s all about getting involved and building relationships.

Cheryl sees better outlets on the way, plus improved ways to monitor each of them.

We look forward to seeing you at the next #ContentWritingChat! Mark your calendars weekly for Tuesday at 10 AM CDT for great chats centered around content writing and marketing. Follow @ExpWriters to stay updated on our new topics and guests!

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