Kim means business, but so does Britain!
In this content hungry, increasingly interconnected world gaining custom is a competitive game. Retaining it is even harder. With few exceptions, the demand for (and longevity of) a business is reliant on public image.
To understand how PR has changed, look objectively at the rise of digital technology. This is the foundation of massive business developments: Skype meetings, international conference calls, innovative visual marketing campaigns. But it’s more than that. Digital technology is what keeps you flicking through Twitter when you should be asleep. It is what enables you to fill a basket of clothes from the foyer of a cinema. It is what has allowed Kim Kardashian to break the Internet, using her bottom.
Digital technology has enabled the customer to price check thoroughly, to decipher the most cost efficient retailer or trusted service provider. This is the epitome of change – in the early nineties, it was much harder for a consumer to get their voice heard and responded to by businesses. Now a few bad Trip Advisor reviews can mean an ‘Under new management’ sign upon the threshold within weeks. One Twitter endorsement from Kim Kardashian can see a product’s sales soar.
What has all this meant for the average PR consultant, or an entrepreneur managing their own PR? Hooks, angles and timing are more important now than ever before. Consumers are ingesting brand campaigns at a sky rocketing pace, these brand campaigns need to be spot on. Without real bite or topical relevancy, a company’s (often costly) campaign is lost in a sea of content. People pick up messages and filter and interpret. If you’re working in PR, you need to be aware of the evolving news trends and issues ALL THE TIME. Pre-internet, the focus was simpler: PR professionals had to think about key messages, and competition from the few other publications out there. Now, there are thousands of media sources and strategy lengths aren’t as fixed term because trends are everything.
Increasingly, journalists are crowd checking their sources and listening to ordinary ‘non-celebrity’ people via social media. Fifty-two percent of PR professionals say journalist’s fact-check with them less often since the emergence of social media. Kim Kardashian, when recently asked about how she style-spies, simply said that she loved people watching on social media. Journalists are doing the same for their stories and it can work vice versa, because individuals are too able to stalk journalists and find out their agenda.
This new facet to the subject/journalist relationship means great things for small businesses. In 15 years User Generated Content become insanely relied upon – from 3 to 52 million blogs. There has been an explosion of blogs, and journalists are wanting, watching, needing this content. Businesses who understand the power of USG and should also understand that the budgets involved in external PR aren’t budgets they necessarily need to pay anymore.
Big businesses pay people big bucks to handle social media. The advantage for small businesses? You know your business and don’t have to pay someone else to research it. So, as long as you can nail the ins and outs of social media use and have a little marketing know-how, you can excel here. Remember though - once your message is out there it might never go away: make sure you get it right!
It can be really frustrating for a small business when Kim Kardashian’s bottom breaks the Internet and leads all channels to trend. But remember this: she crowd-checks, she blogs, she utilizes social media, she gives and receives brand endorsements, and she keeps her eye on trends. She has adapted to the imperative changes that the world of PR has undergone post-social media. Maybe it’s not all about the bottom – maybe there is a lesson to be learned here. If Kim Kardashian can break the Internet, small businesses can too.
Journolink are proud to be media partners with Britain Means Business and the Great British Entrepreneurial Awards this week, as part of Global Entrepreneurship Week.
Come and visit Journolink or watch one of our talks at the Britain Means Business exhibition, Excel Centre, London 19th and 20th November 2014.