PA/PR in a complex age: what you say vs. how and where you say it

May 9, 2010

PR used to just be largely about what you said. Knowing the subject matter, crafting a storyline, being a resource for the media through your expertise. A competent PR professional knew their stuff inside out; they mastered the art of messaging and maintaining (a few) key relationships.

This certainly remains the case, but how and where you say your stuff is now arguably as complex because of the intricacy and multitude of channels and greater number of active stakeholders on any given issue. Before, you may have been OK maintaining 10 key contacts on an issue and sticking to your message. These 10 contacts remain as important as ever, but you may have another 100 to think about now. They might be on 10 different channels; and they might expect very different things from you so you can’t get away with the same one-track approach with all of them.

A problem inherent in PR/PA today? Many are good at the what while others know the how and where. But sometimes they don’t talk to each other; other times they even mock each other. Those who do both the what and the how and where really well? Few and far between.

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