Why Public Relations Needs to Change Due to Online Communication Developments
Why Public Relations Needs to Change Due to Online Communication Developments

 The advent of internet and social media has changed the way people consume information and engage with one another. Social media has provided an online communication platform that can be both public as well as private in nature. There are portals like Facebook and Twitter where people can talk about anything that interests them. They can raise a dialogue on issues of public interest or review a product. They can engage with one another through tools like chat messengers, emails and online forums. Today’s internet savvy consumer researches about a product before making a purchase decision. All of this makes it crucial for organizations to pay special attention to their public relations efforts in the age of new media. There are several public relations courses that acknowledge this change in the air and offer relevant education to their students.

Public relations is that field of corporate communications that deals with promoting a product or service in an unpaid and organic manner. It involves getting positive news around a brand published in relevant publications as well as capturing media space for free in other modes of communication like television, radio etc. In the last decade or so, online communication channels have altered the landscape for public relations. Gone are the days when public relations meant getting featured in major media channels through smart advertorials and news snippets. Public relations in this age requires meticulous planning and efficient usage of new digital tools on the internet. Today, public relations professionals need to take into cognizance the changes that are crucial for success. Some of these changes have been listed below –

1.       Usage of Data

Public relations of yesteryears did not require any data backing. It was all about stories and those were not measurable for the returns coming out of those campaigns. However, with internet there is no dearth of information and data about any movement done by a brand. A company can gather critical data regarding the target market and analyse it. This can help them derive insights from the data and create compelling narratives to their customer segment.  It is especially important for start-ups to have a definitive public relations strategy. They should understand the relevance of the data that they collect and use it to create a compelling story that captures the interest of their readers, their customers and the journalists.

2.       Pitching Effectively

Earlier, public relation professionals were more into mass emailing as a way to pitch their stories to editors of various publications. It was okay since back in those days people did not get so much emails. But today, the situation has changed. The editors are flooded with emails and any mail subject that looks boring, repetitive or has a spam-like feel to it will either be ignored or simply deleted.

Modern public relations professionals need to avoid such pitching mistakes. Pitching needs to be done carefully and should be backed by research. The companies that focus on pitching based on their analytical research get better media coverage than those who send emails trying to pitch their new launches or a new product-related story.

Analytics Backed Public Relations

Analytics has become the backbone of any modern corporate decision-making. With intense competition, it is not possible for companies to rely merely on their gut. The access to every kind of customer data has made it possible for companies to analysis the market and key trends and formulate their public relations strategy accordingly.


A smart advertorial will be lost to the readers if they are not the correct audience segment. Hence a public relations manager needs to get hold of numbers and information. They should collect data from the market and from social media channels and create stories on the basis of the insights generated from the data. Creating a good content strategy is heavily depending on the insights from the information that a company has about its customers. The stories running on social media channels and company blogs can be linked to numbers as well by finding out how many people visited the blog and read it. Or how many people are talking about it on Twitter through a hashtag. In this way, a company can assess and quantify the success of its public relations campaigns.

The public relation managers of today need to understand the importance of adapting to the new paradigm of online communication where content is crucial. However, this content needs to be backed with data. Data will add precision and smartness to a company’s public relations effort. A company can also use the various tools that internet has provided to them such as influencers and social media.



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