The world of PR is changing.
PR is no longer about the clippings book on the reception desk. It’s not about – or should not be about – the AVE of the coverage book. It’s more than that. It’s about brand relevance. Helping a client manage, protect and increase their relevance to their customers. Whether that is through traditional PR, or digital, or marketing services or advertising, or content marketing, it should not matter as long as its achieved. These channels need to be fused together in the best solution to deliver the business outcome. This is why times are changing!
This is why LEWIS has evolved and changed, and ultimately dropped PR from its brand. Twenty years ago when we were founded we started in media relations, but have for the last two decades continued to evolve and build new services based on the needs of our clients. So we built a world class digital offering, rolled out a rapidly growing marketing capability, and bought an advertising and analytics business to amplify our stories, spot insights and measure more effectively.
LEWIS has grown by responding to our clients’ journey. Brands and businesses are more integrated and, in turn, PR is part of a bigger picture. Clients no longer want to see silos. While they may use a PR agency for media and analyst relations, or media, digital and content, they still want that agency to understand how this fits into the wider marketing mix.
Our recent re‐brand reflected the broader capability we now offer to clients. So while many clients still want us to deliver outstanding media relations, analyst relations, content generation and social media, they are open and keen to partner with an agency that could build a sales enablement tool, organise a customer event, produce global marketing videos, or conduct a global brand audits. And why? Because they want a trusted partner to increase their brand awareness, improve demand generation and support customer advocacy.
There is no going back. So agencies and clients must embrace the new normal. Not all PR agencies have embraced the inevitable change – but for me there’s no point trying to battle against the wind.
So traditional PR remains important. Make no mistakes about that. But the opportunity to compliment that with a broader mix of services, all focused on achieving clear, measurable objectives is real. Clients want it. Staff want it. Candidates want it. And other marketing sectors see it so we must move with the changing times in order to ensure media buying, advertising and management consultants don’t take our lunch. For we are the guardians of brands. We are the discipline that understands news and are more situationally fluent. PR is the sector that is always changing, evolving and developing. Times are changing. Embrace it and enjoy it!
A version of this piece first appeared in a whitepaper featuring an interview with Giles Peddy and other experts. Read the full report here.
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