Monday, July 20, 2020

The last four months at work have perhaps been amongst the most challenging of my career, but have provided opportunities for new ways of working – most being driven by technology (which as my team will tell you is not my forte!).


With over 40 years’ experience, split between journalism and the PR industry, it is evident that much like the shift to online shopping, news outlets and organisation’s marketing and sales offerings have exploded on digital platforms.


Many businesses, like ours, accessed the furlough scheme. This resulted in fewer staff in offices in line with the government message to #stayathome #workfromhome. Consequently we noticed that many newsrooms were understandably running on skeleton staff, with much of the editorial content pulled from online sources.


Of course there are pros and cons to this. Some readers feel that the news is not relatable / localised to their community, however access to digital platforms is instantaneous, with updates and breaking news streamed live. As a consultancy our aim is to make sure our clients’ content is appearing in the right places online.


Whilst copy writing – for local and national newspapers, magazines, websites, blogs, newsletters, staff communications and promotional films – is an essential service we offer, we are supporting clients through this accelerated shift to digital marketing as a result of the pandemic.


Complementing ‘traditional pr’, those as long in the tooth as me will understand this as providing quality written news releases and eye catching photography to print, broadcast and online journalists, as a team we are utilising online platforms too.


In an ever-growing tech and digitally enhanced world, with the majority accessing news on phones, laptops and tablets, making the shift and merging your approaches or even thinking about making the shift to digital pr, will certainly reap benefits.


Putting out engaging content online including blogs, podcasts vlogs, short films/ testimonials, visual posts, downloadable resources, press releases, social media posts on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and user-generated content, are just a few ways to engage with your audience and increase interaction.


In addition we can help clients manage feedback and nip any constructive criticism in the bud by responding in a timely manner to any online queries raised – maintaining credibility and reputation.


Top tips

* Start small – set up a social media page – Linked In, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or You Tube Channel. As the audience grows you can promote across all platforms


* Post regularly but AVOID repetition fatigue – information needs to be bitesize, easy to digest and engaging


* Poll opinion – use digital platforms to get a steer directly from your customer what they want


* Images and short videos capture attention – Tik Tok anyone? Enough said!


* Podcasts are increasingly popular and the spoken word can evoke strong response if the message is clear.



Paul Dobbie