Toolkit

The Always On News Environment: What It Means for Public Relations Professionals

By on Wednesday, January 11, 2012
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This blog post on Fast Company by Wendy Marx on Transforming PR for a Mobile World, shows how the climate for public relations professionals has changed. Some key points in the article struck home with me.

Marx was right to say we can’t always release news on our time table. Sometimes the news cycles and public discussion forums take on a life of their own, and demand that if your organization wants to be part of a conversation or part of the news cycle, then you need to do it now.

For on staff PR pros and consultants, that means we have to know our causes and agencies intimately and well – so we can craft news releases, statements, talking points, facebook posts and tweets with speed and tonal accuracy. We have to master how to speak with the voices of our organizations and anticipate how they might react to changing circumstances.

Looking at practical matters – that means we need to find solutions, NOW, to cumbersome approval processes that can hold up news releases or other copy for hours. If that means we need have a red cell phone or an email string that goes straight to the head cheese for a quick sign off, then that’s what it will take.

That also means we need to be anticipatory – able to predict what materials are needed on which topics, so we can be limber in adapting. Sometimes a short statement with accuracy that goes out quickly, is better than a detailed one that languished out hours after the news cycle has already moved on.

Ami Neiberger-Miller is a public relations strategist and writer. She is the founder of Steppingstone LLC, a virtual and independent public relations practice near Washington, D.C. that provides public relations counsel, social media advice, writing services, and creative design work for publications and websites (portfolio). Ami blogs frequently about media relations, social media, public relations and other issues. She also reviews books on her blog about public relations, nonprofit life, work-family balance and social media practice. Follow her on Twitter @AmazingPRMaven.

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