With the power of mobile devices, the idea of sending out press releases is simply behind the times. Younger audiences are all about instant gratification — they want what they want, when they want it.

Traditional outward-bound PR is outdated and brands should meet audiences where they're consuming content. This will ensure marketing professionals are one step ahead and futureproofing their brands for today's digital tech-savvy consumer.

Here are four steps to ensure brands are ready:

1. Tell stories

Engaging storytelling is key. In an era of fake news and consumers increasing mistrust of businesses and brands, good storytelling is vital. Share well-structured, authentic and engaging stories that consumers are interested in, and ensure your content reaches the right audience at the right time to have a maximum positive impact.

2. Add value

There's no better time for your brand's PR to incorporate all types of media into your strategies — paid, earned, shared and owned. This provides the opportunity to address all brand touchpoints and keep track of reach, frequency and conversion to calculate the return of investment and offer meaningful value to your brand.

3. Manage reputations

A brand crisis can happen in the blink of an eye, and through social media, the reputational damage can spread in a matter of minutes. It's important for marketing professionals to be ready to address any PR fall-out as soon as possible. This means a smart and strategic crisis communication plan and upskilling staff with the tools to address any crisis in all channels immediately.

4. Influencer marketing

The impact influencers can have on brands should not be underestimated. It's important to cultivate win-win relationships with relevant influencers who can provide access to their target audience.

With the Internet and other game-changing technology, the future of PR is uncertain in terms of how it will continue to be affected by technology and social trends. That said, the future is exciting and the opportunities for brands to breakthrough with smart digital-savvy PR strategies have never been better.

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The role of PR professionals has evolved, and the rise of influencers has changed the way PR professionals operate and strategise. Here's more information on How the last two decades have changed the PR industry.