New PR Challenges for Professional Service Companies

As the media landscape continues to shift, professional service communicators must adapt or risk being left behind. Finding out where you can make the most impact, reach your specific key audiences and achieve your communications goals amidst the ever-shifting, massive 24/7 news cycle is crucial … but difficult.

It’s not impossible as long as you stay aware and are willing to evolve your strategies and tactics to match the new environment.

Here are five challenges that professional service PR teams currently face and how they can impact your tactics and results:

Media Relationships: Never More Important – Smaller newsroom staffs due to layoffs and buyouts mean fewer experienced journalists … and those that remain have less time. This means professional service communicators must build equity with key journalists in order to foster these relationships and keep dialogue going.

Deliver the Goods, Fast – Many media outlets have replaced staff reporters with freelancers, who often focus on generating stories fast and don’t have the same kind of in-depth expertise on a particular industry as beat reporters do. This means we need to be able to package and convey our news, expertise, information and visuals for a story quickly.

In the Event of an Event – There are more industry events, media events and trade shows than ever, but fewer reporters are actually onsite covering them. This means we have to make the most of precious time when reporters do attend and also be sure to provide those offsite with materials they need to cover the news – including looking for ways to use technology to take the event to the reporter.

Platform Proliferation – The ever-growing number of social media platforms, which can spread good or bad news globally and instantaneously, offer more opportunity to extend our messages, yet make it more difficult for us to control what’s being said about us. So real-time monitoring is important and preparation is key, in the form of social media policies, key message development and crisis communication planning.

We Get More Mileage – One definite upside to the multiple forms of media channels now available is that a single news story is often re-purposed across multiple platforms: print, digital, online, blog, etc. While this might mean less editorial time is spent on fresh content, it does mean when your stories are covered, they can get more mileage and views overall.

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