As we explained in a previous article, more and more companies are adopting real-time public relations. In a globalized and hyper-connected world via the Internet, social media and digital media, responding quickly to market trends and consumer demands is a must to achieve visibility and connect with the public. In communication, time is worth double, because the one who communicates first has the advantage.
Real-time PR: time is money!
However, many brands still get real-time PR wrong. Doing real-time public relations does not consist of publishing on social media every day or answering user comments quickly… It is about adapting communication strategies and work processes to launch new messages, communications or content in a few days or hours, instead of the weeks or months that are normally required to plan and implement a traditional public relations campaign.
Real-time PR risks
Of course, this way of doing public relations also has some drawbacks.
To begin with, we do not have to identify real-time public relations with newsjacking or news sequestration, that is, try to take advantage of any current event to do marketing. This strategy can give visibility, but it is risky and susceptible to provoke rejection, as it happened to the designer Kenneth Cole when joking about the Arab Spring.
This message linking the riots in Egypt with a clothing collection set fire to Twitter
When you live close to the present, there is also the danger of being dragged by the fake news, spreading news or viral images that end up being false. For example, the community manager of American Apparel brand shared a retouched photograph of the Challenger space shuttle explosion thinking it was an image of the July 4th fireworks.
It is also not convenient to fall into improvisation. Communicating with agility does not mean launching campaigns or actions that are not meditated. This is what happened to Blackberry when, to compensate its customers for a serious technical failure that left them without service, they “gave” an app package valued at $100… Although it actually only cost $76.
Are real-time PR for all brands?
Looking at the examples above, it’s easy to think that maybe real-time public relations are not made for all brands. For example, in regulated sectors such as banking or healthcare, it seems difficult to achieve the agility required by this new communication model. How is it going to communicate in real time an institution that take a week to send their answers to a journalist, because previously the legal department must validate them?
Difficult, but not impossible. In these same “traditional” industries new segments are emerging communicating with greater agility, such as fintech (financial technology) or healtech (health technology). These companies move in the same legislative framework as their traditional competitors, but they are capable of making communications much more fluid. This shows that the barriers to the adoption of the real-time PR are in the internal dynamics of the companies and not in the existing restrictions of their markets.
At Canela PR we are convinced that real-time public relations will end up being imposed and all brands must adapt to keep pace with their public interactions. In this sense, the communication agencies are a valuable ally for brands that want to take advantage of communicating with greater agility. We can provide them with the knowledge, continuous monitoring, resources and specialized professionals that this new marketing and communication landscape requires, if in return they grant us the necessary autonomy and confidence to be able to implement their real-time PR.
What do you think? Is it better to communicate quickly or plan well? Comment on social media!