With a full room and a glass of wine, we were off. For those unable to join us, we have recapped the highlights for you below.
It’s a question we come across often…. what role will the future PR agency play? Our panellists all agreed that in today’s environment, PR agencies must be adaptable to changes within the industry but also to the bigger shifts and risks clients are taking. Luke pointed out that it is a great time to be in PR, we are the ones who ask why do people care as opposed to what do we want to say, and this is important when we are trying to reach an audience who has tuned out to traditional marketing. At the end of the day, people want real themes and stories that they resonate with.
Clients are becoming more data-driven – how do you go about measuring success? “Be as close as possible to the business and align with how they measure success” – Luke Starr, Director at Verve Communications
As a result, clients need to be extremely clear on their own goals and objectives. However, with the PR agency acting more as a consultant, they will also need to educate the client on what metrics should be measured. These insights should be inherent in regular conversations with the client, getting to the granular level of each activity, and what value it is expected to deliver and how it integrates into their overall strategy.
What new skills should communications professionals be picking up in 2019? Claire Kimball, who was previously Head of Corporate Affairs at Woolworths Group emphasised on how important it is for communications professionals to be nimble and adaptable to the changing environment and of course some digital knowledge never goes astray. Corrie McLeod insisted it was time for PR agencies to get back to the basics and pick up the phone and talk to journalists– nothing beats a good old-fashioned phone call to start building rapport. Additionally, a lot of it is coming in with the right attitude and personality. Having that “roll up your sleeves” mentality and seeing where you can add value is crucial in the PR sector. Ultimately, don’t lose that enthusiasm and drive.
How are PR agencies resourcing the right talent? More and more businesses are finding it increasingly difficult to scale up and down to adjust to demands for certain skillsets. Commtract can help you resource your PR needs by finding the right individual from our community more than 2,800 comms experts (PS, it wasn’t just us who said this, we swear!)
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