Changes in PR Tactics: Modern vs. Traditional

Since the early days of public relations, the strategies and tactics utilized by PR professionals have changed many times. This is usually due to changes in technology, culture and public opinion. One early form of PR took place when nations around the world fought to abolish slavery hundreds of years ago. Another early form of public relations includes propaganda used by the U.S. and Germany during the world wars. The one similarity shared among all PR strategies is the need to spread a certain message and change public opinion, and the tactics that help to carry out these strategies change frequently.

A person who understands public relations should also understand the ongoing changes that occur in the media and PR world every day. For example, traditional PR tactics merely sent a message to key publics, and left it up to their publics to interpret the message and form their own decisions. Modern PR tactics are usually more conversational than traditional ones. Social media is a perfect example of this because it allows organizations to interact with their customers on a deeper level. Organizations can receive feedback from their key publics while also sending out their messages quickly and efficiently.

All PR professionals should understand how changes in PR strategies affect them and find a good balance between traditional and modern tactics. The press release and several other traditional PR tools are still relevant in the present day, so it is important for PR professionals to understand these. It is also important for professionals to understand modern PR tools like blogs and social media. The introduction of tools like blogs and social media allow PR practitioners to develop a more accurate and personalized message to send to their audience. Creating a more personalized message makes it easier for PR professionals to relate to their publics and create a positive image for their organizations

Broad Magnolias have utilized both modern and traditional forms of media in our campaign to raise awareness for Youth Oasis. Our team has utilized both print and digital media to help raise awareness for the organization and help them to continue growth and development even after we graduate from LSU. I believe that a truly great PR professional knows when it is best to utilize both modern and traditional media. When this concept is understood by an organization, it is easier for their PR practitioners to reach more than one audience.


PR writing is key in Youth Oasis campaign

In any communication course, book or blog, you will learn that good writing is the most important skill to have in the mass media field. It is the backbone to creating and communicating messages. Even when a message isn’t disseminated via written word, like oral or visual, there is almost always a written component involved. Because of this, your writing helps to determine how your audience perceives you and the level of its engagement.

Although I am the Broad Magnolias writing director, I’m not biased in thinking that writing is the most vital aspect of our campaign for Youth Oasis. Our client provides a much needed service, emergency care for homeless youth in Louisiana. Because Youth Oasis’ service holds such social magnitude, it’s important that we make sure to carefully communicate its messages to the public.

Through our campaign, we will provide 10 media deliverables for Youth Oasis to utilize. All of these require some form of writing. Some deliverables are more directly dependent on writing, like our event speech, press release, event plan memo, media training guide, social media strategy plan and media kit. The others that don’t necessarily focus on the writing, still include it—our stewardship program, rebranding style guide, promotional video and media contact list. Because writing is so prevalent in our campaign, we must practice all of the aspects of good writing.

There are many opinions out there on what constitutes as good writing. In public relations, good writing effectively and creatively communicates a brand’s message to the audience. In order to accomplish this, practitioners must follow the three golden rules of PR writing:

  • Be consistent – Writing must be consistent within its medium. AP style is the standard for writing in all mass communication fields. It must also consistently use the same voice and tone across all messages, in order to help establish a company’s brand.
  • Be accurate – Writing needs to contain accurate and honest information, as well as correct spelling and grammar. If writing contains falsities or is confusing to read, a company could lose credibility with its public.
  • Be relevant – Whether a piece of writing is informative or entertaining, it has to be relevant to the intended audience’s wants and needs. If a reader doesn’t have use for the message, you will be ignored.

Throughout this campaign, I have made sure that the Broad Magnolias staff follows all of these rules when producing written content. But most importantly, I have kept in mind that we are not writing as individuals, or even as Broad Magnolias PR. We are writing as Youth Oasis.  I, and the rest of the Broad Magnolias team, commit to maintain the voice of Youth Oasis and to communicate it’s message—not our own.

To learn more about the voice and message of Youth Oasis, reach out on Facebook and Twitter. And don’t forget to come back next week for another lesson learned in the Broad Magnolias campaign.