Entering this new role with the Giants, I knew I would be asked to assist with social media, however I had not anticipated to be asked to help with our Community Relations Department as well. I wanted to learn the ins and outs of PR in order to better understand our organization’s relationship with the outside SF community and beyond. What are some tactics I need to keep in mind? Well, with the help of this text, I was able to gain some insight on the field, which even led me to excel in other opportunities. Below is my analysis of The New Rules of Marketing and PR.
Last month, I sat down with three board members of the San Francisco Public Relations Roundtable to interview for a scholarship. I was competing against dozens of other top students from around the Bay Area, so I knew my answers had to be on point if I were to end up winning the scholarship. The interviewing committee asked me a question I hadn’t anticipated: “What is one major threat to the PR industry today?”
Fortunately, I was prepared to answer that question, as I had recently finished reading the book The New Rules of Marketing and PR by David Meerman Scott. I answered confidently, “To stay relevant and to stay open-minded and flexible as new technologies and ways of reaching people develop.” Apparently, that was a sufficient enough answer, as I was awarded the scholarship!
I credit my quick answer to a couple of Scott’s theories presented in his book. Scott writes, “Marketers must shift their thinking away from the short head of the demand curve–mainstream marketing to the masses–and toward the long-tail–a strategy of targeting vast numbers of underserved audiences via the web” (47). He talks about how for decades, marketers were able to rely on product-based, interruption advertising that focused on the masses, but with the dawn of widely-used internet communication in 1995, all common marketing practices had to be altered in order for companies to survive. The old rules still might apply for giant corporations with millions of advertising dollars to spend, but for the majority of businesses, non-profits, and organizations, the ones who adapt to the ever-changing landscape that is online marketing, are the ones who survive.
Similarly, Scott writes about the mind-set shift that every marketer must make in order to stay effective and relevant. He writes:
To make the new rules of marketing and PR part of your personal world, you may have to change your mind-set. You’ll need to understand your buyers, rather than just talk about your products and services. You’ll need to be aware of what’s going on in the real-time news and on social networks. You’ll need to relate content and publish it on the web, and sometimes you’ll need to do it urgently to be successful. On social networks, two-way communication is required , not just the typical broadcast approach that most marketers are used to. These habits and techniques do not come naturally to entrepreneurs, business owners, or marketing and PR professionals steeped in the more traditional ways (364).
Because the old way of marketing and PR is dying for most businesses, it is essential for teams to adjust and adapt as quickly as possible, or at least ask for help from an agency who understands it.
It is clear that the new sway of marketing is constantly changing. If we are to survive in the world of PR, as Scott so clearly illustrates, we must be prepared to consistently to adapt to the ever-changing online landscape.