While we were enjoying this blog from Social Media Examiner about the perks of social media and public relations, we remembered our good old days at a ’90s PR firm. Spending hours stuffing press kits, faxing stacks of press releases to news outlets, running to the post office and FedEx every time we needed to get materials to a client quickly. Good times. Those PR practices of yesteryear seem downright archaic today. Modern PR would be sunk if it wasn’t for social media, online branding and digital press releases. But more than the ease of this new phase of PR, it occurred to us how much more affordable digital PR is than the old school ways of doing things.
It’s no secret the post office is in deep doo-doo and it’s easy to see why. PR firms and other communication businesses use to keep the Post Office in the black by constantly sending out packages and press kits. Now the dollars once spent on postage can be spent on hiring someone to upkeep social media accounts for clients. Think about it: How times have we ditched a card or a letter in favor of connecting with either someone on Facebook or Twitter? Our clients, as well as their clients, are all on social media, so getting in touch with them is not only easy, it’s free.
And let’s not forget how much we used to spend on printing. Printed materials in the PR world used to be churned out for every major (and nearly every minor) event. Those coins are now being sunk into digital newsletters and email marketing campaigns. Gone also are the big-time phone systems and group conference calls. Obviously, smartphones and Skype rendered those expensive dinosaurs obsolete. Gone too are the face-to-face lunches and day-long meetings. Those time- and dollar-sucking techniques have been dumped thanks to digital communication.
But the great thing about digital PR is that anybody with any budget can cook up an effective public relations strategy without the big money those fancy firms used to toss around. It doesn’t matter how good/bad the economy, nearly everybody has access to a computer and a way to reach out to clients for little or no money.
So readers, you tell us. What’s your genius recession-proof PR plan?