George Bradley is director of public relations and communications at Archer Education.
In an era where information is abundant but trust is scarce, companies are redefining their public relations strategies to establish credibility and authenticity. One key aspect gaining prominence in 2024 is the reliance on internal experts as the linchpin of successful PR endeavors. This shift is not just a tactical move but a strategic one that recognizes the changing dynamics of media consumption, brand trust, and the critical role of genuine thought leadership.
In public relations, the conventional approach often involves pushing information about a brand to reporters, hoping for coverage. However, in 2024, the landscape demands a more nuanced and authentic approach. Internal experts, those individuals within a company who are genuine thought leaders in their respective fields, have emerged as invaluable assets for building meaningful connections with the media.
The primary advantage of leveraging internal experts is the authentic value they bring to reporters. Instead of merely promoting your brand, these experts can provide genuine insights and expertise on trending topics within their domains. By offering valuable information, companies transform from mere promoters to trusted sources, cultivating relationships with reporters that extend beyond the confines of a press release.
Becoming a trusted source is a strategic move that pays dividends in the long run. Reporters are more likely to turn to reliable experts when crafting their stories. As a result, the company not only secures immediate coverage but lays the groundwork for sustained media relationships. This trust is the currency that fuels future brand-focused wins, creating a positive cycle where the company becomes a go-to authority in its industry.
The ripple effect of these PR victories extends to the digital realm, with social media and company websites serving as platforms to amplify the successes. Highlighting the contributions of internal experts on these channels not only adds credibility but also positions the company as a hub of top-tier expertise. This, in turn, attracts potential clients and business partners, who are more likely to be swayed by a company that houses genuine thought leaders.
Moreover, the strategic use of internal experts is a powerful tool for obtaining high-quality backlinks, a critical component of effective SEO. When reputable media outlets link back to a company’s content through expert contributions, it enhances the company’s online authority and improves search engine rankings. This organic and genuine approach to building backlinks is far more efficient and sustainable than traditional methods.
The year 2024 presents a unique challenge of widespread mistrust in the news. By providing news outlets with genuine experts, companies contribute to rebuilding trust in the media and, by extension, in their brand. This alignment with credible and knowledgeable voices helps dispel skepticism and positions the company as a beacon of transparency and reliability in a sea of uncertainty.
The benefits of leveraging internal experts extend beyond the external realm. Engaging employees as experts not only promotes them individually but also adds genuine value to their careers. It fosters a culture of expertise within the organization, motivating employees to excel in their fields and contribute meaningfully to industry conversations.
In conclusion, the shift towards making internal experts the focal point of PR strategies in 2024 is more than a tactical adjustment; it’s recognizing the evolving landscape of trust, credibility and media dynamics. By harnessing the power of internal thought leaders, companies not only secure immediate PR wins but also lay the foundation for sustained success, both in the eyes of the media and their target audience. As we navigate an era of information overload, authenticity emerges as the key currency for PR success, and internal experts stand as the most valuable assets in this pursuit.