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A Shift in the PR World

Foto by Brenda Gottsabend

In the era of “media multi-taskers,” people have grown used to being bombarded with a wide range of ever-present content and messages. Unless the material is directly relevant to them, it will generally be ignored. In one of his blogs, Richard Edelman stated that we are no longer selling to an audience. Instead, we are trying to build relationships across a community of stakeholders, where a consumer is now also an employee, a shareholder, a member of an NGO, a community activist and a passionate user of products willing to advise on the design of said products.

Image by Brenda Gottsabend

Recently, Richard addressed this on a visit to our London office. Below, I present some of the highlights from his speech:

It’s not about selling, it’s about building relationships

The real world is not about a good looking girl, a good looking guy and a fancy car. This kind of thing doesn’t convince people to actually buy a car. People are too smart for that. That kind of simplicity went out with Don Draper.”

The above quote by Richard expresses in a very simple way that the central principle of PR programmes should be derived from a deep understanding of society. Furthermore, marketing is not only about selling products, but also about building relationships with all stakeholders.

PR is a mindset

PR is more than a tool or a tactic – it’s a mindset. PR is different from advertising. Although equally involved in storytelling, a PR idea should stimulate discussion, be relevant and be newsworthy.

Expand the definition of PR

Expanding PR in to new territories requires building and maintaining a positive relationship with your stakeholders. We need to listen to our clients and their customers so that we may introduce new opportunities for them while highlighting our areas of comparable advantage, which are credibility, speed, two-way interaction and continuous story creation.

For me, true reward comes from meeting someone and trying to figure out how I can build a mutually beneficial relationship between that person and myself. One of the things I’ve learned here is when you really listen to others, eventually you will understand their interests and begin to build trust. Trust is a key building block to a positive relationship, and we all know a positive relationship will be the foundation of good PR.

www.edelman.com/who-we-are/news-press

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