Need of Integrated PR in the Digital Age

Public Relations is no more restricted to coverage in the print media, it has experienced a paradigm shift after the advent of Digital Media.

According to ‘The South Africa PR Landscape 2014 report’, Public Relations (PR) is facing tough challenges in the digital age. PR is evolving, and this evolution is surrounded by more opportunities than challenges. The report evokes the ideas of industry experts and compel them to rethink about the new role and scope of PR in the highly dynamic digital world which is changing every second. The traditional PR is neither going to die or vanish, but it needs to accommodate technology to make the transformation practical for the majority of businesses. The role of PR is changing with the rapid developments in the digital communication. In this highly volatile and complex business environment, a client assumes greater accountability and expertise from a full-fledged PR agency. Businesses demand more coverage in print media and active presence in the social media.
Now, PR is going neck-to-neck with social media, therefore PR professional must be ready to understand the principles and tools of the social media. Traditional and digital PR, both have some unique advantages. The combination of the two results in more dynamic and more practical version of the PR. They need to create a crossover plan and should execute it, using both traditional and modern strategies in a proportional manner. Both are important, essential and impactful. Their mix varies in accordance to the demand of every individual account or campaign. Yes, it is the knowledge and understanding of the PR professional that whether they are able to decide the contribution of each medium in a right manner or not. There is no set parameter which may guide about the effective integration of the traditional and modern PR. A perfect combination depends upon the profile of a brand and the nature of a marketing activity.

To get the optimum results from a PR activity, there must be a great coordination between the PR team, marketing team, social media experts and media planners. The collaborative efforts of all help to create and execute an integrated a PR plan, where equal focus can be given on traditional as well as digital media channels. PR is a multifaceted and indirect approach of marketing which is responsible for all the branding activities such as positioning, image building and visibility of a brand in the target market. Depending upon the reach and cost of the media, a PR agency chooses the right media and makes effort to generate higher ROI.