The annual PRSA International Conference was held in Atlanta this week, and I was privileged to attend with approximately 1,200 public relations professionals from around the world. There are so many opportunities to learn at a conference like this – from the breakout and general sessions to the exhibit hall, and perhaps most importantly, from fellow attendees. My four main takeaways from the conference were:
- Content is king – again. As public relations professionals, we are the best content creators so let’s own it. People are becoming increasingly immune to digital advertising and prefer to seek out information, educate themselves and make their own informed consumer decision. Let’s use our writing expertise to educate and engage potential consumers. Let’s utilize cutting edge graphic design, infographics, and other visual assets alongside the content to help the message stick and be remembered. Let’s use content to support discoverability and drive engagement that leads to commerce. Don’t rely exclusively on earned media – become the media.
- Technology is our friend. Measurement is validation and technology provides us with the best tools we’ve ever had to capture it. As an industry, we need to embrace and fully understand technology. This is key to our ability to not only perform for our clients, but to prove our strategy and tactics work.
- Paid media should usually be part of the PR mix. At Fletcher, we’ve been utilizing paid media and sponsored content to support fully integrated PR campaigns for quite some time. Unlike previous PRSA conferences I have attended, this topic made it into multiple sessions with a variety of perspectives. Our perspective? We’re not PR purists, and we’ll continue to look for ways (both paid and unpaid) to get our content in front of the right people and the right time.
- Strategy is everything. It doesn’t have to be complicated, but it must drive the tactical approach. In a real-time world where we need to change directions quickly, a solid strategy is the glue that guides decisions, messaging and actions throughout an entire campaign.