It is summer and school will not start until another month. Most of us in the class are working as summer interns for different companies or organizations, some are travelling others are taking a summer course. I am one of those who are working for some weeks. For quite some time I have been working extra at the PR agency Grayling and this is where I spend most of my summer this year.
When I started to work extra in beginning of 2007 it was very much about quantitive measurements, how many news clips? How much PR value? Today that is still important, but I can clearly see a movement towards impact, many companies have realized that communication is more than the number of clips. It might not be as important to get your story published in as many media as possible, more importantly is that what you do achieves an impact. I can only imagine that discussions during meetings where very different some years ago. Today when we are discussing how to reach the objectives for a creative campaign we never mention the word press release. Instead it is about engagement, involvement and all those buzz words surrounding the social media sphere. However, in the fast pace of news items flying by in the flow I sometimes wonder how much impact a specific campaign can have, no matter number of like-clicks, re-tweets or fans.
It is clear that so much more is required today to get publicity, some people might take this too far though. Good contacts with journalists is not enough, you simply must have a good story.
So why PR? Well, there are plenty of examples when companies fail due to poor communication. And for me, as a student in the beginning of my career, it is great to learn the tools and the mindset of PR. Looking back, technology has had a major position in many businesses. Technology is still very important for many companies, but more and more companies have accessed to great technology and as we know, diversification might rather come from branding or communication. No matter what, we can conclude that media plays an important role in today’s society and that many business executives would benefit from knowing the basic ABC’s of PR and communication. Internal communication affects the attitude and culture among the employees, financial communication (investor relations) can affect your stock price, market communication affects the sales and public affairs your legal and political environment. I would recommend anyone who is pursuing a business career to learn the basics within PR and communication, it is simply too strategically important not to.