End of the quarter? Time for a fresh PR plan? And even after adding a ‘sufficient’ number of target stories in the general and business papers, even more in magazines, and a lot more in trade journals, the first thing your client asks is where is your Twitter strategy? Where is the Facebook Plan? Why not a Digital Media Release? What are we doing on Instagram?
The reason for these questions is that digital media has become a primary medium of communication for a large part of the masses today. The advancement of technology has changed our habits of how we consume news. Increasingly, lesser and lesser number of people pick up a physical copy of a news publications everyday- that is not to conclude that newspapers are dying soon (well that is a different topic for later). The point being that in the PR profession – digital is not just important anymore, it is NECESSARY!
It is fascinating how brands have adopted the digital medium in their communication strategies, and how well they execute those plans. The most creative offline campaigns also have a tight-knit digital integration which greatly helps in overall promotions. ‘Newton Running’, an American footwear manufacturer created a creative way to engage with its Instagram followers, to generously support an important cause. In November last year they started a movement via an Instagram Post that said “Join the No-Shave November movement! Share photos with #5MileShadow & #NewtonRunning to help raise money for cancer research! For every photo shared we donate $1 to No-ShaveNovember.org.,#LetItGrow & Let’s see that hair! Newton Running smartly banked on a topical trend and received great appreciation.
Videos are also increasingly used by brands to make successful campaigns – Budweiser for example, promoted ‘Responsible Drinking’ with the help of a powerful video last year called “Friends are Waiting”. The video which became the Number 9 most watched YouTube Ad of the year, emphasized the message- next time we go out we should make it a point to get home safely as our friends are waiting.
As Public Relations becomes more digital, need for PR institutes has increased to teach students how to harness the power of digital platforms to make PR campaigns. That is the reason why SCoRe ensures that the curriculum continues to include the latest trends and best practices, and the best instructors to share them with the students.
The beauty of digital media is that it has the ability to go far and wide in a short span of time. Hence the virality of the famous ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. The challenge first received awareness in the United States of America but it did not take long for it to travel to various nations across the globe. People all over the world took the challenge and posted videos of them taking the challenge on their social media profiles & further challenging their friends to take it up.
There are countless examples of powerful ways in which the brands have engaged with the masses in the recent past. They have not only appealed to their emotions but have also managed to create an impact with the help of this magical medium of communication – ‘Digital’!
– Radhika Nandwani
Radhika is the Corporate Communications Advisor at Dell’s Performance Analytics Group. She started her career in 2011, with one of the leading PR firms of India – MSLGROUP, specialising in technology brands. The campaigns executed by her while at MSL, have won several PR industry awards including SABRE and PR Week Asia. In her last role, she was the founding team member and the marketing communications manager at SCoRe. Radhika is an English graduate and holds a Master’s degree in Mass Communication. She loves reading and is passionate about gender equality, food and Bollywood. She can be reached at @RadhikaNandwani on Twitter and here on LinkedIn