PR in the Post-Truth Era: Breaking Through with a Modern Media Mix

Jun 08, 2017 Stephanie Fergione

Here at InkHouse, we’ve talked a lot lately about the pace of news. Is there even a true “news cycle” any more? At this point, it feels not just instantaneous but unavoidable. For brands to break through, preparation and agility are key. But being able to respond to a breaking news item or pivot your message at a moment’s notice isn’t enough.

At a time when the media is being questioned more than ever, it’s critical to be strategic and employ a modern PR media mix to tell your story. Brands must be brave and willing to use new approaches to ensure their message is heard. Here are a few ways to diversify your media mix and amplify your message in the post-truth era.

Be digital first.

During the 2016 Presidential Campaign, President Trump used this approach -- prioritizing Facebook and Twitter over TV or print -- and it worked. A digital-first strategy allows organizations to reach a very specific audience, with a controlled message at the right time. This approach can involve taking paid social media targeting and messaging to an Olympic level, or working with an editorial team to develop sponsored content that aligns with your goals, fits with its publication's tone and piques their reader’s interests.

Be more visual.

Video and images will matter even more to help cut through information clutter. It’s no longer a secret that social posts with images can get as much as twice the amount of engagement than a post without an image. However, in the current landscape, we should be moved to push beyond just attaching an static image -- even creating moving graphics, cinemagraphs, gifs and videos. This move isn’t just a way to stand out, increasingly social platforms are favoring these kinds of posts -- earlier this year, Facebook announced updates to its newsfeed algorithm to boost longer videos. Also, consider new storytelling tools, such as virtual or augmented reality and data visualization. Just this week, Apple announced its big move into AR.

Be on new platforms.

Consumers are craving authenticity. While in the past, organizations favored having a third-party or newswire to share their opinion or news to demonstrate credibility, now, shifting to a neutral platform might be a more genuine approach to reach your audiences. Untainted publishing platforms such as Medium, LinkedIn, and podcasts are extremely valuable in the current age. These platforms are not only less politicized than others, they are also flexible -- articles on Medium and LinkedIn range from short- to long-form, light to deep, full posts or teasers of existing content elsewhere. These are great places to repurpose content.

The current media landscape presents a new challenge to business leaders and marketers. While we’re being pushed into the unknown, now is the time for organizations to really show their values and leverage new mediums to tell their story and break through the rapid-fire news cycle.

Topics: Content, Media Relations, PR, Thought Leadership, 2017
Stephanie Fergione

Stephanie is a vice president at Inkhouse, providing strategic counsel and developing integrated PR programs for clients across the healthcare, B2B and consumer tech, education and fintech industries.

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