The power of publicity couldn't be easier (or less expensive) than right now. Social media, social networks and better access to media and blog connections has put new capabilities in the hands of entrepreneurs and executives to tap outlets regarding news and articles on their companies. In the past, this was tough at best. Today, more journalists and bloggers are better accessible and more willing to be part of the business community than ever before. However, with this expanded opportunity and new media landscape comes a lot of new dynamics and rules. These past few weeks, conversations have been buzzing on the topic, in part surrounding the new book, Putting The Public Back in Public Relations. It sparked a discussion among the women entrepreneurs and executives in my world. Media coverage can do tons for your company. But, in a new media market, how should you be doing PR now?
"PR needs to be completely redefined," said friend and fellow entrepreneur Nicole Jordan, who boasts nearly a decade in the business. "It means knowing how to connect with all of our 'publics.' For me, mine are current and potential customers and partners, data providers, investors, employees, thought leaders in my industry -- publics are how YOU define them."
"A hit in USA Today doesn't guarantee you are hitting YOUR public, the one your business really needs," Jordan adds.
If anybody would know, it's Jordan. As one of the most connected women on the Internet and in technology business, she's known for her high level connections and talent for putting people together. She's been a driving force behind some of the industry's best campaigns and projects. "The needed tool set from PR has vastly expanded due to the Internet and social web, creating an entirely new set of skills that most practitioners don't know how to use in a complimentary manner."
Today's women entrepreneurs and executives couldn't agree more.
"I had hired someone to help with PR and after a month, found that he didn't really understand the market. He rarely had anything to update me on and constantly talked about how difficult it was to reach the press we needed," shared one female entrepreneur who had asked to remain anonymous. "We stopped working with the firm and began doing a lot of the work ourselves. We get responses from journalists and bloggers, and it has resulted in a few articles. I wouldn't recommend this for everybody, but with budgets tight, we can't take the risk of spending money without results."
For Jordan, public relations is seen from a business view point. As she writes on her blog (which also regularly lists local Los Angeles tech/Internet industry events), her approach is to "listen to what my company needs and develop programs from there, and media relations is just a fraction of my tool kit." Among her strategies are weekly meetings with each department, engaging with customers and partners, and participating in executive planning meetings. "Every day I approach my job and the decisions I make with the question: How will this contribute to our goals? I never ask the question, 'How will this contribute to our awareness."
When it comes to the new world of PR, wiser words couldn't be spoken. Power Girls know the PR playing field has changed -- and they're making the adjustment.