Public relations specialists were some of the first people to embrace the power of social media, and as a result they are often the ones leading the way in the social space, whether they are consulting with clients from an agency point of view or strategizing on an in-house PR team, according to Erica Swallow at Mashable.com.
She goes on to say that the future of PR is bright—with some caveats. In the past decade, the Internet has had a huge impact on how PR professionals function. Social media, as we all know, is changing the face of PR and press releases.
“While I don’t believe the press release is dead, it has been transformed, to become this living, breathing thing,” Amanda Miller Littlejohn, founder of Mopwater Social Public Relations, told Swallow. If a release doesn’t have a social element—that is, a way for viewers to comment or share to their social networks—
it doesn’t have legs.”
David McCulloch, director of PR at Cisco, comments: “It’s pretty clear where the press release will go next: It’s going to get shorter; link to more sources; be focused on simplification and explanation; and it’ll come in many more flavors.… The press release of the future will deliver its content in text, video, SMS, microblog and podcast form, to any choice of device, whenever the reader decides, and preferably it will be pre-corroborated and openly rated by multiple trusted sources.”
Adds Lou Hoffman, CEO of the Hoffman Agency: “I don’t think the news release will die in the foreseeable future, say the next five years. Even if the syndication of this content has little impact on the target stakeholders, they’ll still be generating backlinks, which by themselves deliver a decent ROI.”
What do PR pros need to do most? “The most important platforms for PR pros in the future will be the ones most targeted for their clients,” says Cara Stewart, founder and principal at Remarx Media. “Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook are ‘fun’; getting nitty-gritty into community sites that are industry-specific is less ‘fun,’ because PR pros have to really understand clients’ technologies, business models, services and more. Really, it’s more about PR pros becoming better PR pros and understanding their clients’ businesses, as well as what their clients do.… Social media is not a one-size-fits-all solution.”