- How do the historical foundations of public relations apply to current day news? Please share some examples
The evolution of PR has been incessant. Since the beginning with Barnum when they didn’t realize the importance of public opinion based on true facts, continuing with Lee, when the first code of ethics was made, and also Bernays with his implication with the audiences minds and trying to understand them. Nowadays we still keep learning about the audiences, businesses, and not only learning, PR is getting adapted to new channels, new ways to get to people. Because people, priorities and lifestyle changes, PR changes with them.
I remember to examples of a wrong PR strategy and a good one that I like to share:
I remember three years ago when Gerry Hamilton (ESPN analyst) posted a tweet to a porn web site, instead of the web page he was supposed to. He didn’t apologize or answer all the tweets questioning, he just deleted and act like nothing happened.
But on the other side, I remember that last year there was going to be a really good festival, and one week before the first concert, the organization sent an email to all the people that had bought tickets, and also published in their social media and web page, a long letter, explaining why they were cancelling the concert. They explain why, they apologize, and they promise to give back the money (they did). This inconvenient could have gone really bad, but they manage so well that I was impressed.
- How might the role of public relations fit within a larger marketing campaign?
Perfectly. Everybody talks about marketing and its importance for business and to succeed, but almost no one talks about the importance of PR.
Even if you think you have everything tied up, if you think that you have perfectly controlled your campaign, you are wrong. You never know for sure how will react the audience, you don’t know if the product will work or not (yes, even if you have done multiple product testing), and that is why you need a PR person, because he or she will try and get ahead all these problems, and probably more important, he or she will know how to deal with them.
Personally, I think that only marketing is not enough, also only PR is not enough, I think that the best option is to have marketing a PR connected, and I mean connected, because is nonsense to have a PR professional without talking to the MK professional, they should be sharing all the strategies and objectives, making a team to achieve them.
- How do you think developments in social media are impacting the field of public relations?
I think developments are good, they will help to improve the profession. Social media is the new way of communicating not just business to consumer, but everybody with everybody.
As I read in one of the texts, social media is not only sharing photos, videos or having conversations, you can buy almost everything you want, you can make important choices, you meet people, you can see live events and you get impressions that will be vital or decisive for your company.
Basically, I think these developments are new doors that PR can open.