The Changing Face Of PR

The Changing Face Of PR

In the “old days” – before social media – Public Relations (PR) was there to convince a third party – like a lifestyle or beauty editor – to report favorably on our clients.

Editors choosing to give free media coverage to our clients in their editorial pages was the golden goose of PR, a true endorsement to be one of the chosen few.

And to this day, it still is worth far more in terms of credibility and value than creating your own, biased advertising.

It’s also important to note if you’re advertising with a media outlet like a magazine or radio station (paid media), it’s a lot easier to acquire PR space (earned media).

But thanks to the rise of social media and the wave of bloggers and influencers, public relations as we knew it has changed. Today, there are multiple media channels good PR practitioners work with – us included!

When you set out to create a new PR campaign these days, you’re not just going through the traditional PR channels and targeting newspapers, magazines and TV/radio.

Now, in the era of digital marketing, we are increasingly focusing on digital media channels to drive opportunities and exposure for our clients.

Because the channels have changed, PR has changed.

Advertising influences editorial a lot more than it used to, social media delivers us our news before actual news outlets do, and influencers are a new breed of Editor, adding gravitas and credibility to the products or brands they recommend.

Although the core values and purpose of PR remains the same, PR has changed significantly and we think it’s in a good way!

Social Media

PR practitioners are increasingly focusing on social media activity because it’s a very effective communication channel, using consistent messaging that’s closely aligned with your wider PR and marketing campaigns.

Thanks to social media, you can reach more people and measure that reach with a click of a button. You can interact with target audiences directly, and the insights you can gain on your campaigns and posts allows you to tailor your messaging and media management to better target your key audiences.


Another big change in PR is the fact that you can curate your own content to deliver your messaging exactly as you want to. We now have the opportunity to put out content ourselves on social media channels, making the opportunities to share the message our clients want to share, practically endless.

It also puts us completely in control of what we share – our social media channels are now a key resource for researching media AND customers.


PR can also drive SEO.

While we still focus on our print media relationships, many of which we’ve held for several years, we also now send digital press releases to ensure we reach as many media outlets as we can on your behalf.

We try to include your keywords in your press releases, to drive exposure and website traffic back to you. Having a press release ranking for the right phrase can be a huge boost for a company.

So how has Consumer PR changed? It’s still there to drive awareness and ultimately, sales. It’s still all about great writing and strong media relationships. It’s just that there are more channels than ever before in which to communicate with your audience. There are also more direct relationships that need to be built, maintained and amplified.

No matter how much media may have changed – PR is still very much an essential part of your marketing strategy and choosing the right practitioner is key to your success.

With a mix of good relationships across multiple media channels, some expert content and copywriting and some clever leveraging on your behalf, a good PR practitioner is worth their weight in gold.



Rebecca Purdy has been working in NZ PR for over 18 years, owning two other successful agencies before founding The Generalist PR in 2012. A phone call is always free – give us a call or drop us an email if you’d like to talk about how we can grow your business and rep your brands to key media effectively.

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