Trust in media is at an all-time low. In fact, trust in government, business and NGOs as well is at an all-time low.
According to the findings of the 2017 Edelman TRUST BAROMETER, a person like yourself has become more trustworthy and listened to than anyone else. Peers are just as credible as technical experts and academics.
What this all tells us is that individuals matter more than institutions and that valued communications nowadays is peer-to-peer not top-down institution-to-peer.
This, in turn, explains one of the most important daily human activities: how we make choices.
The way we make decisions has fundamentally changed. We’ve become a lot more sophisticated and we feel empowered to go online, do our research, talk to friends, read and ask for recommendations on social media, tweet at companies with questions, and expect immediate answers. We don’t want to be marketed at; we want to make choices on our own, based on our online experiences.
Content is the name of the buying game today.
And who’s better suited to create fascinating content and use it to engage with publics than PR professionals?
Marketing, advertising and digital pros struggle with content creation, but they are good at numbers, data and measurement – something PR professionals are still at odds with.
Enter Inbound PR, where content meets measurement and helps PR people show the real return on investment of their efforts in the new digital era, underpinned by technology.
Technology, however, is one of the most challenging frontiers PR people are facing today. Especially for agencies, the use of a tech stack to deliver work and measure its results consistently, has become paramount.
Unfortunately, in my role as Global Partner Program Manager at HubSpot I see the areas in which our different types of agency partners excel at – technology and measurement is not PR’s expertise. But it needs to become PR’s expertise because otherwise PR won’t be able to remain relevant.
Building relationships and shepherding or shaping reputations through the right messaging and content is important, however, no business will choose to rely on PR to help unless they see the clear correlation between PR’s work and ROI.
The future of PR is inbound because it needs to start with the public in mind as the most important stakeholder group that influences every decision regarding the work that needs to be done, its timelines and nuances and how success will be measured.
We can now go to consumers directly through social media or corporate websites and reach them on our own instead of relying on the media to be our intermediary – the institution that they don’t trust. This reality demands a different approach, especially because consumers hold the power and because they know you probably represent a business – another institution they hold little trust in.
Every PR activity then must be about them, not you or the business that you’re working for. Normal people are the heroes and the influencers that you need to engage and involve in your content.
With Inbound PR, you can pull them in because push no longer works.
Iliyana Stareva lives and breathes inbound marketing and PR for agencies. Iliyana spent three years in the PR industry throughout Germany and the United Kingdom, establishing the presence of some of the largest fast-moving consumer goods brands in the world in those markets. She was then recruited by HubSpot to become one of its first agency business consultants in Dublin, Ireland, where she helped dozens of marketing, content, PR, and web agencies double or triple their revenues. It was during that time that Iliyana developed the Inbound PR concept. Follow her on Twitter: @IliyanaStareva