The consumption of on-demand media is taking over and has been one of the PR trends in 2017 with a major impact. However, what is the true magnitude of this phenomenon? And how can PR agencies help in this new context?
When families gather in front of the TV
In a complex landscape of fragmented audiences and on-demand media consumption, can public relations agencies help brands connect more efficiently with their target audiences?
In 2002, Rosa’s performance and her “Europe is living a celebration” at Eurovision marked a milestone in the history of television in Spain: it achieved an 85.2% share, even more than the World Cup final. Fifteen years later, for TV channels it is a success to reach a 20% share. The most watched non-sporting broadcast in 2016 was the debate between Rajoy, Sánchez, Rivera and Iglesias, which had a 57% share. And this despite that all channels broadcast it.
General audiences exposed to the same content at the same time is no longer the norm: an on demand media consumption is imposed through newspapers and digital magazines, video platforms such as HBO or Netflix, radio podcasts, etc. How does this affect public relations? Below you can see five fundamental aspects to keep in mind in this scenario.
1. Advertising is becoming less profitable: the proliferation of the media has reduced the cost of advertising, but that is because it is less efective. Nowadays, in order to reach a significant part of the audience, it is necessary to invest in advertising across several media. This does not mean that conventional advertising is not required, but if the budget is limited then public relations can offer better results in this complex media landscape. Once generated, the same communication material can be adapted to different media and platforms at a much lower cost than the one for advertisements in each one of them. In addition, the PR contents have a greater credibility and generate less rejection.
2. The monologue becomes dialogue: thanks to new technologies, the consumer not only decides what media he consumes and when, but also has the possibility to interact with brands. This step from unidirectionality to bidirectionality completely changes the role of public relations agencies: they are no longer limited to sending messages, but they should also monitor mentions, comments, complaints, etc. of consumers, transmit them to brands and have a quick and effective response prepared. Otherwise, brands risk an online reputation crisis that can originate from a single dissatisfied consumer.
Seventeen million viewers have seen on YouTube this passenger’s complaint against the airline that broke his guitar. Guess which one it was?
3. Monitoring and evaluation are essential: it is surprising that one out of every three public relations agencies still does not measure the results of their campaigns (and even more surprising that their clients do not require them to do so). In order to justify the results of public relations activities in this highly fragmented media landscape, agencies must use advanced and automated measurement systems that demonstrate the value obtained for clients. The traditional “clipping report” is no longer useful, because comprehensive monitoring tools are needed to identify all mentions in media, blogs, social networks, etc. and measure its real value (which is not the same as the advertising value).
4. PR campaigns are becoming multi-channel: nowadays, it is not enough to simply organize a press conference or send a press release to reach all the relevant media for a brand. Public Relations management has become much more complex and requires multichannel campaigns that adapt and transmit the message to each type of a recipient.
Traditional PR have given way to convergence PR (Jonile.com)
This is what some experts call “convergence of public relations” and involves taking into account many aspects such as: the multiplication and fragmentation of the media; the emergence of new types of communicators such as bloggers or influencers; the interactions with social networks; or the importance of omnipresent SEO.
5. Complexity generates silos in communication: the greater the number of media and channels to be managed, the more the teams grow. The trend in brands is to create silos that work separately (for example, communication, marketing, social networks, etc.). Even each department can work with a different agency! However, this is not a good idea if you want to achieve unified communication. Therefore, public relations agencies are creating multidisciplinary teams, formed by specialists in each area who work together to meet the needs of brands. This multidisciplinary vision allows integrated and consistent communications.
In conclusion, the fragmentation of audiences and the consumption of on-demand media pose new challenges and opportunities for brands. Public relations agencies can help take advantage of the possibilities offered by this more diverse landscape, in order to establish more relevant and personalized relationships between brands and consumers. Without a doubt, the work of the PR agencies is now more complicated, but also more exciting.
Do you also consume on-demand media? Or do you prefer to see what is given to you? Share your opinion with us on our social networks!