PR has grown tremendously through the years, as a means to share information that influences public opinion and changes behavior. When you think of PR, what comes to your mind? Well, if you asked someone 20 years ago, they would’ve talked about creating and sharing news releases, distributing announcements via newswire services, media relations, and image and reputation building. While these practices are still present today, there’s a clear shift in the way we strategically plan for communication, connect and engage with the public.

There’s been a huge shift in the way people want to receive information and what sparks their action today. This made PR people step back and rethink the way we share stories and engage with people who may advocate on our behalf.  Here are three things you need to pay atatention to success at PR in 2017:

The future is still digital

The future of PR lies in a meaningful digital or online experience, collaboration and peer-to-peer engagement across the social media landscape, newer technologies that keep advancing the way your customers choose to gather, organize and share their news and information, a dynamic public that’s very involved in co-creating with companies to build or enhance their favorite brands, information sharing that can take a brand to new heights of awareness in the eyes of the public or ruin its reputation in minutes.

it’s important today to choose the right audience when sharing your news, which will not only include traditional journalists, but also bloggers and new media influencers who have large online networks and will share with their friends.

Years ago, PR pros would wait to be handed messaging included in news releases, executive quotes, brochures, newsletters and opinion pieces, but that’s not the case any more.

Instead, you can track keywords, or search through social media communities that let you tune in to conversations that your customers are already having about you. Chances are, they’re already talking on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, just to name a few. By gathering insights, you’re then able to share more meaningful information with them. The next thing you need to do is to think beyond the news release. News releases are still a great vehicle to frame out a good new story and to cast a wider net via a newswire service.

Influencer clout continues to rise

You can certainly target journalists at a variety of publications, who’ll be interested in your news announcements. However, you now have so many different channels that you can use when you’re ready to share news about your company. Companies are using blog posts, videos and multimedia releases, complete with social media sharing capabilities, and they’re also posting their news to sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn, and the list goes on.

Data and metrics:

PR used to focus on Advertising Value Equivalents, or AVEs, to measure PR outcomes. But today, we look at tracking metrics from awareness and engagement to impact and advocacy.Being in PR means becoming data educated. It’s an opportunity to better understand the market and your audiences by tracking the efforts of your programs more effectively. And finally, last on the makeover list, is how you can use technology to make you smarter.

For more on how to thrive in the PR space in 2017 and beyond why not attend my PR Hackathon on 3 March? Find out more here