We are living in a ‘hypermodern’ society, characterised by a culture of hyper consumption, hyper change and hyper individualism. This society in overdrive can be seen through the array of media constantly impacting almost everything we do. We consume sporting events, political debates and TV shows, not just through the action unfolding before us, but also a stream of related social media posts in the palm of our hand, online forums and live web analysis. All of this results in new challenges and opportunities for PR agencies, as well as the overall communications profession.
The recently published results of the 11th edition of the European Communication Monitor offer valuable insights for all public relations agencies to consider, but especially those involved in the technology sector. The 2017 European Communication Monitor (ECM) surveyed 3,378 communications professionals from 50 participating countries. It’s the most detailed and comprehensive longitudinal study in the communications industry and those in PR shouldn’t neglect the opportunity to glean insights into the challenges and opportunities facing our profession both now and into the future.
If you happened to be in Dublin City Centre last Friday, you likely will have come across hordes of orange-clad techies getting up to some quite unusual tasks. The third year of Techies4TempleStreet, the charity fundraising event held in aid of Temple Street Children’s University Hospital, was the biggest to date. Some 130 teams, comprising over 1,000 competitors, took to the streets of Dublin to complete a wide range of challenges spread across the city. As the chosen PR agency of leading Irish and multinational tech companies, the Comit team jumped at the chance to raise some much-needed funds with our fellow techies.
PR is used to build brand recognition and visibility. It boosts an organisation’s credibility and achieves defined business goals. Simply sending out a few press releases or hiring a PR agency won’t guarantee those important things. Businesses need to ensure that their communications are consistent, targeted and impactful.
As consumers, we all have high expectations of the products and services we use and pay for, and rightly so. Previously, when those standards weren’t met, we would likely phone a helpline or write a letter of complaint. But those days are gone. Today we head straight for social media.
I was in a Vodafone store, about to purchase my first proper smart phone a few years ago. Android or iPhone? It was a big call as I was likely to stay with whatever platform I chose for many years. I called a few tech journalist pals in-the-know and the gurus offered a resounding answer: it’s got to be Android. Armed with this clear instruction, I call over the sales assistant, “Hi,” I say, “I would like to purchase an… an… iPhone please.” I had unwittingly become a victim of Apple’s incredible brand that seemingly overwrites all logic.
We recently discussed our top books for nailing all aspects of PR. However, digital media is moving at such a rapid pace that books can’t always keep up. If you really want to stay on top of everything that’s happening in the PR world, then it’s a good idea to bookmark (no pun intended) some helpful blogs in your browser. PR and digital media blogs are an ideal accompaniment to books for staying up-to-date with industry news, learning more about the latest social media tools and trends and fathoming the latest PR disaster and success stories.
There are fundamentals of PR that don’t change. However, the rapid pace of social media has altered how individuals and companies communicate, manage their reputations and build their brand both on and offline.
Nobody wants to be in a crisis but in reality, it can and does happen. And if prevention efforts have failed, the next best thing you can do is deal with the crisis in the most effective way possible. Regardless of the incident, if you have a crisis communications plan it will help you to deal with the crisis quickly and efficiently, therefore limiting the damage to your company’s good name, your customers and your shareholders.
As a small nation, we’ve created a wonderful brand for Ireland worldwide. Just look at the great PR St. Patrick’s Day does for Ireland, and the large numbers of iconic buildings and landmarks worldwide that ‘turn green’ on the day. State agencies such as Tourism Ireland, IDA Ireland and Enterprise Ireland carry out fantastic work on behalf of Irish businesses to ensure that we punch above our weight in terms of brand recognition and goodwill globally.