Refreshing Outdated PR Tactics

Jun 29, 2020 Rachael Durant

Since its earliest days, public relations tactics have changed as media habits have shifted and new technologies have been introduced. Where once people read a daily physical newspaper, we now get our news and other information across a variety of (mostly digital) platforms. Consumption of news online has been steadily growing, with 34% of U.S. adults preferring to get news through websites, apps or social media.  

There remain vestigials of a bygone era in the PR world. We don’t need to completely stop using these tactics, but rather change them to fit our current media consumption habits. InkHouse CEO Beth Monaghan recently wrote an opinion piece for O’Dwyer's discussing Amazon’s controversial video news release that many stations ran without noting the VNR came from Amazon.

It got us thinking about how these tactics need to change in the integrated PR world. Below are three examples of PR tactics your company may use that need a refresh: 

Video News Releases Belong On Your Owned Channels 

The days of creating prepackaged news segments should largely be behind us. Save for a few instances, video assets that celebrate your company belong on your owned channels, like your social media pages and website. In fact, videos are a great tool for customer-focused marketing efforts because it’s the kind of content that consumers prefer, visuals help with retention of information and it can even help increase the number of conversions on your site. While providing assets to reporters and producers like b-roll and photos is still encouraged, writing a script for reporters to read and pass off as a news segment is not transparent and sends the wrong message. If you still wish to use a video news release, it must be clearly labeled. 

Events Should Connect You with Key Audiences 

PT Barnum started a craze of hosting events to draw media attention. While many still try to use events to drive coverage, this time may be better spent asking how to ensure your key audiences are getting the most out of the event. Any coverage of an event should be the cherry on top, rather than the main purpose. Events that are of actual use are more likely to garner media headlines than those designed solely in an effort to drum up coverage. In the times we find ourselves in, this may even mean creating virtual events, as opposed to in-person events. 

Companies Should Embrace their Values and Causes that Reflect Those Values

Once upon a time, companies would refrain from getting into publicly commenting on issues that might upset people. But today, companies should embrace that opportunity. Customers and employees are looking for companies that align with their values. As always, it’s important for companies to ask themselves how they can authentically engage in these conversations or issues.   

Because of COVID-19, many PR and marketing plans are being revamped and retooled to fit the media and digital landscape we find ourselves in. It’s a great time to try something new because what worked yesterday is not guaranteed to work tomorrow, or even today. 

Interested to learn how integrated PR can help your business achieve its goals? Email our team at

Topics: Content Strategy, Communications, best practices, PR tactics & strategies
Rachael Durant

Rachael’s favorite part of her job is helping to tell stories on the best platform to reach the correct audience. As the manager of integrated PR strategy at Inkhouse, she is responsible for helping to craft and execute communications plans for a diverse range of clients, ensuring the teams are on-track to meet clients' goals. From social media content creation to media relations, her experience allows her to think strategically and creatively about storytelling across new and traditional platforms.

Read more from Rachael Durant

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