Four Broadgate, a financial services and higher education public relations (PR) agency.
It can no longer be denied that the world of PR and marketing as we know it has changed, and there is no turning back. Developments in technology and social media have meant that a corporation’s interaction with the mass market and population has completely altered and it is now easier than ever for brands across the globe to reach a specific, targeted audience on a personal level, regardless of location. The question remains, where does this leave PR and the services that it provides, and where is its place in this new, personable universe?
It is undeniable that for PR campaigns to survive they will have to continue to adapt and create a whole new brand experience for the consumers it is trying to reach, and in the digital format that the appeals to the consumer. Without adaption to the market and how the populous are reached, it would be easy for any PR or marketing firm to sink, but there are opportunities here that can be optimised, and many different digital avenues that can be utilised to reach the target market.
There is certainly a balance to be maintained here, as it is undeniable that there is still a faction of society that fears and dislikes this advancement in technology and how it has made reaching a target audience so much easier. While this in itself provides a market to be tapped and encouraged in terms of opportunities that can be provided on a personal level, the primary concern has to be that, for the majority of the mass market, the more that this new world can be embraced the better. Most people have now become used to targeted advertising and find it a useful gateway into products, services, discounts and offers that previously remained unexplored.
It could be argued that this new personal expansion in the market has benefited consumers who are looking for a good deal from a reputable brand, as competition in the market has become much more prevalent. More than ever the consumer is looking to get value for money and to feel valued by their providers, and this can often be the difference between loyalty or the general public branching out and leaving what they know behind. The more a service is adaptable to the customer, the more likely a customer is to both recommend and stick with a brand.
We can see, even just through recent events, how important brands are to consumers and how personal these things are to your average Joe. Post-Brexit we have seen the threat of certain products (such as Marmite) being taken off our shelves, and through technology and social media the customer is able to get actively involved in the brands they love and where they can find them. The changes in PR and marketing have meant that people feel more interconnected to brands and products than ever before and there is certainly an opportunity for PR to adapt and enhance the consumer’s attitude towards the things that they love.