Public relations has traditionally been a people-centred industry. But, as physical contact and industry events are on pause, PR professionals still need to build and manage those all-important client relationships.

And being the pros that they are, these individuals are killing it so far.

media update’s Maryna Steyn checks out four lessons PR pros have learned from remote working.

1. Content is king when working remotely

Content consumption has skyrocketed. In South Africa alone, internet usage has increased by 1.1 million users since the end of 2019, so you can only imagine all the things consumers are exposed to every day. Because people are now spending more time at home consuming content online, brands need to reach their potential customers wherever they are.

And, due to the fact that individuals are already at home, searching for content to pass the time, there is a gap that allows brands to seize the moment. 

During the past year, PR pros, marketers and advertisers alike have adjusted their strategies to show the reality we live in. This has provided potential customers with quality, engaging content that is relatable (and humorous). This strategy is key to ensuring brands stay relevant and continue building relationships with their customers.

2. PR pros ace remote working through social media

Social media is a crucial way to reach your audience and, because these digital platforms are such a big part of our lives, users are constantly engaging with their favourite brands.

Platforms such as Instagram and Twitter have allowed PR practitioners to lead with creativity and interact with customers in the comfort of their houses. This includes posting interesting polls, sharing entertaining videos or producing uplifting content to motivate them to keep moving forward.

In this way, PR professionals have been able to connect authentically with customers and build a stronger community.

3. Virtual PR events are important when working remotely

Industry events used to be the ideal space for networking opportunities, introducing new products or making important announcements. But, ever since lockdown happened, it has been goodbye face-to-face gatherings and hello virtual events.

The online environment has offered a multitude of options for industry events, including award shows. PR pros have been able to draw inspiration or customise these options to create the event that suits their needs. Some of these replacements have included live streaming on YouTube, Facebook, Zoom or LinkedIn.

4. PR pros are trailblazers in remote working conditions

Innovation has always been at the forefront of brand communication, and PR pros only continue to prove this again and again. Whether it was creating virtual events such as the PRISM Awards, or sending out ads that make people laugh despite the fact that they’re going through lockdown, professionals have used their skills and experience to solve brand problems while social distancing.

This highlights that publicity shines during the current crisis, prioritising brand storytelling above hard selling — which is particularly important when resources are strained (And we’re not just talking about the sanitiser and toilet paper...)

PR pros, do you have a story about when you overcame a remote working challenge? Let us know in the comments below.

Want to stay up to date with the latest news? Subscribe to our newsletter.

If you want to know more about PR pros success during lockdown, read about the Three skills PR pros have learned from the pandemic.
*Image courtesy of Canva