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Tradigital World

Last week I had the opportunity to attend a lecture by Mickey G. Nall, the managing director of Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide.

Mickey Nall, via PRSA website

Nall spoke about how the future of public relations is “tradigital,” a combination between traditional and digital influences. He argued that social media is the future and that PR professionals will have to adapt their strategies to incorporate these changes.

Role of PR

Nall began by describing the role of a public relations professional: “to create masterful stories that raise awareness, shape or change opinions, and influence all parties, build and connect communities that will help propel our clients’ businesses.” I think that hits the nail on the head – as PR people, one of our primary goals should be to tell truthful, relevant stories about our clients.

But it’s not enough to just create news. According to Nall, “We need to make the truth fascinating.”

Break through the noise

However, the PR professional must remember that the brand is integral to the story. With so much information produced every day, getting a message to your audience can be difficult. Nall offered several tips to break through the noise:

  • Your “big idea” must anchor the product or service in a larger issue, such as healthy eating or a national trend
  • Employ compelling, credible third-party spokespeople, such as authors or chefs in your message
  • Use real life stories of people to add interest
  • Refer to causes that consumers and media care about, such as human right issues
  • Publicize your client in places with heavy media attention, such as the Super Bowl

Above all, the PR practitioner must not lose sight of the brand. Find a way to tell a story that embodies not only the product or service but also the brand image.

How to reach consumers

Interestingly, what has been known as the “age of deference” has become the “age of reference.” Previously, consumers trusted authority figures and leaders above all others, but now consumers have the most confidence in messages from peers, friends and family. (See this MarketingWeek article for more information about the shift.)

The most trusted information sources, leaders and elders, are now less trusted than friends and celebrities (picture source: Opinion Leader).

This is an interesting development because it requires us to rethink the best way to spread messages about our brand. Nall said that word of mouth drives purchase more than any other influence. We must create talkability about the brand. This may be accomplished effectively through social media sites such as Twitter or Facebook. If a consumer’s friend tweets about how wonderful a new movie is, that consumer will trust the friend’s opinion more than a message from the CEO of Warner Bros Entertainment.

Tradigital world

Today, in an age of rapid spread of information, we must combine traditional and social media to make our messages effectively reach the audience. This often involves using social media. Nall says that from a public relations practitioner standpoint, “social media is PR – it’s just a different form of what we do.”

Nall concluded with this statement: “We all need to adopt the tradigital landscape, but we’ll get to shape it” in the future. This is an exciting time to be involved in PR. We will truly have the chance to affect policies. I agree with Mickey Nall’s assertion that we need to combine traditional and current media to effectively tell stories in a tradigital world.

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Posted by on May 9, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Introductions

Hello, and welcome to my blog!

As you know by now (if you read my About Me section), my name is Melodie Seble. I study at the University of Oregon, and I am pursuing a dual major (journalism: public relations and Spanish) plus a minor (journalism: communication studies). Since you made it this far already, please be sure to check out my About Me and Comment Policy sections for more information.

This is me, looking rather frightened of the camera shoved in my face by a well-wishing colleague.

This blog will begin as a project for my J 452 class (called “Strategic Public Relations Communication”), and I intend to continue to blog after the class finishes.

After two years of struggling, uninspired, through generic pre-journalism classes at UO, I felt that I did not belong there, and I considered switching majors to something that would interest me more. However, when I finally took my first PR class, I knew the exciting world of public relations was right for me.

With this blog I hope to gain knowledge and experience about public relations. I will not use this blog to write about anything my heart desires – this space is for academic subjects and will have a heavy focus on PR.

My goal is to expand my digital footprint. I hope to have the opportunity to present this blog in a portfolio to a possible employer someday, so I will try to maintain a professional tone while still being interesting to my readers.

I am still learning about PR – about what it is, what it means to be a PR practitioner, and how I will fit into the PR landscape. I am dedicated to learning and improving my professional skills, and this blog will help me gain experience.

Here is my promise to you, my reader: My blog posts will be professional, interesting, relevant, accurate, and thought-provoking in some way.

Thank you for reading, and please stay tuned for more posts.

This will be a journey, so please stick with me and see what we can learn!

 
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Posted by on May 2, 2011 in Uncategorized