How to stay true to your PR roots

Public relations has changed more rapidly than most professions, and pros have adapted to new client demands. Here’s one veteran’s view of what PR pros should take from these new trends.

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In the past few years I’ve talked to countless brand managers, PR pros and CMOs about their pain points; I’ve asked them where integrated marketing is headed.

PR trends in 2016 are vast. To name three: the steady rise of influencers, the power of rich, targeted content and strategic placement triumphing over quantity of placement.

One trend that struck a discordant note with me was the growing demand for PR pros to find new ways to pay for product or client publicity.

The essence of public relations is securing top coverage for your brand or client without paying (earned media). But more and more media outlets push for ad buys that, to the naive eye, may look like organic news articles.

PR must stay true to its earned media roots. It must report authentic results like other company business units and departments. True, before recent PR analytics innovations, CMOs had no way to communicate PR results like they did sales and marketing results. Sales has quotas, marketing has leads—PR had article-title spreadsheets that lacked quantitative measurements. RELATED: Executive communicators— Join our new LinkedIn group and get FREE tips and strategies to improve leadership communications.

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