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Let’s start with the definitions. Centralized PR means all press communications that take place through an authorized channel, often a PR professional, in the form of official press statements. Journalists have to rely on a single gatekeeper and wait until they have access to information.
In 2021 businesses still relied on centralized press communications to launch products and deliver corporate news. Meanwhile, the tech industry offers up news almost every day, whether it’s Facebook rebranding, or Donald Trump releasing a social network or Apple unveiling a new MacBook. Can official pr coms cut down on the noise?
Hardly ever. It may seem like I’m shooting myself in the foot, but a centralized PR approach is no longer relevant to the tech industry. Innovative and fluid in their sense, live and breathe with technology and media trends, scathing reactions and staying on top of the agenda. This is where decentralized PR comes in handy.
What is decentralized PR?
Decentralized PR means that the company has multiple legitimate sources of information for the press – in particular, on social media platforms. Those sources may include, but are not limited to:
Corporate social media profiles used to provide feedback to the media, e.g., viber One was able to inform the reporter directly of his position, when it was very important to the users.
Personal social media profiles of CEOs and C-suites, for example, Elon Musk’s infamous Twitter where posts can lead to dramatic changes in stock markets.
Personal social media profiles of functional leaders and PR representatives, for example, Matt Cutts’ Twitter was a major source of insight on Google search algorithm updates until his resignation in 2016.
Reddit AMAs or threads powered by company experts, etc.
Some of the great examples I saw recently are from Apple, which changed its press communications policy last year. When unveiling the new MacBook Pro in October, Apple posted a message on Twitter minutes before emailing reporters. And, used it to post video announcements that are exclusive to the platform.
Moreover, Apple is breaking news not only through official brand pages, but also through the employees of the company. And Google picked up on the trend by announcing the Pixel 6 in what turned out to be a strange series of tweets among all Google services.
Decentralized PR has many benefits – from more humane and direct communication lines to the ability to respond quickly to incidents without chains of approval, better and (hopefully) warmer communication and coverage. At the end of the day, “journalists want Pitches sent by foundersPR agencies, not,” as Josh Constine writes.
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How to do decentralized PR?
Somewhat like digital transformation, the shift towards decentralized PR cannot be done overnight. Instead, each company should approach it carefully to avoid the Wild West in its public comms. Here are some tips to consider.
know your strength
Despite all the benefits, it is not for everyone. Startups by default should make use of the advantage of direct-to-media communication – the founder and team are always the best and often the only speakers. At the start of a business, it makes sense not to outsource your reputation to PR entirely and instead build your credibility directly.
For larger companies, a classic press service combined with additional communication lines is a good idea. In the Apple example, Twitter communication is complemented by a powerful press center that has all the b-roll journalists and bloggers need – including the ability to download texts and graphics.
Twitter has long been a platform where journalists have fun. And for many startups, Twitter is too main stage To build a community around the founder’s presence and his vision. According to a study by Muck Rack:
76 percent of journalists say Twitter is the most valuable social network to them, and 37 percent plan to use more Twitter in the next year
16 percent turned to Twitter as their first news source, a trend we’ve seen over the past four years
Twitter is about conversation and context, about memes and communication. To excel at it you have to be an expert in communication – or Cardi B. But would uploading all the press releases to Twitter be a bargain? off course not!
Other platforms, such as LinkedIn, may be more relevant to the message you deliver. Microblogging, expressing opinions on an existing agenda or communicating with potential employees can also bring long-term benefits. Plus, following media managers and journalists on Twitter can ensure that you are up-to-date with the latest media policies updates. for example, Verge’s and Quartz Update Guidance The conditions under which journalists will talk to people off-the-record. And there are times when social media should be put to the side – even the professionals. make mistakes And humiliate too many journalists at once.
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create a policy
Perhaps the most important step is to define your approach to online press communication. PR and media policies provide a framework for appropriate online publication and discussion/discussion for both employees and key company speakers, including blogs, user-generated video and audio, virtual worlds and social networks. It is also a document that can explain the most common PR terms like exclusive, ban, pitch, press release type, etc.
Identify company keynote speakers who can comment on expert topics. Decide which topics you are willing to discuss and which are not, which business stories you can tell and which are restricted by legal limitations, business strategy or privacy. Think about what you would like to read and learn from the brand on a regular basis. Determine who is responsible and what level of commitments you make.
It’s easy to build a transparent approach based on a general industry understanding of best practice to avoid PR issues: CEO calling journalists to do your job. A PR policy document should not only provide you with flexibility. It should also outline guidelines for the level of communication you want to build with an outside audience.
media train people
Coaching founders, C-suite and other junior leaders are required to speak directly to the media. Use policy, but also share useful ones Tips who were given by journalists, For anyone authorized and trained to speak publicly for the company, it is recommended to subscribe to opinion leaders and journalists and allot an hour a day to read, comment and share interesting observations.
PR work is like compound interest in finance. You invest quality efforts on an ongoing basis, and it comes back in the form of accumulation and growth of positive reputation. This work is time consuming and requires a smart testing and learning approach. Make sure your team has a clear performance tracker and KPI framework in place to demonstrate the benefits of decentralized PR. If done properly, it will bring more loyalty from the audience.
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