Why the heart of a PR agency should be driven by content: Asif Upadhye, SPRD

Upadhye, Director of SPRD, explains how the story of a brand can be best conveyed when words frame the right narrative

by Asif Upadhye
Published - Aug 31, 2019 8:35 AM Updated: Aug 31, 2019 9:44 AM
Asif Upadhye

Public Relations is the realm of effective communication; a space where, if a message isn’t conveyed properly it could be conveniently misinterpreted, passed on, and could eventually end up triggering a domino effect reminiscent of ‘A Series of Unfortunate Events’. Previously, in the era of just press releases and word-of-mouth, information took some time to be made available to the public. But today the story is different. The very minute a piece of information is uploaded onto the World Wide Web, it can be viewed by millions of people. The time between information output and absorption is so short now that often readers and audiences catch tiny mistakes in content even before the creators can make the retrospective correction.

PR has always been said to be the art of storytelling. According to USC Annenberg study, 80% of PR executives have ranked digital storytelling as the top-most trend. The story of a brand can best be conveyed when words frame the right narrative. But amidst all of this, what’s the one common factor between then and now, between press releases and social media posts, between the slow and fast?

Content

When content creators are also content consumers

Content creators are good at looking for information, researching, and getting down to the crux of the matter. This, followed by identifying problems, challenges, and opportunities and then finding the best solutions, data to verify and validate, info to back it up, voices and insights to add value and depth to the content, etc. This also means that they know and understand what kind of content is trending, what content works in which scenario and on which platform, and therefore can help in crafting PR strategies that convey the right message to the right people.

Communication is ultimately about getting the message across, effectively

It’s not just what you say, it’s how you say it, to whom you say it, when you say it, what the current social scenario is, what context you say it in, etc., and most easily understandable manner. PR and marketing content aims at reaching out to a vast audience made up of a diverse range of segments – Understanding the sensibilities of the audience may be left up to data analysis and interpretation, but how to address these different sensibilities, cultures, habits, and lifestyles often falls on the content team. Thus, when we talk about a strong content team, it is important to stress on the fact that it’s not just technical/language/writing/editing proficiency that’s required, it’s also sensitivity, cultural understanding, acceptance and open-mindedness that all add up to a strong content team.

Presentation makes a lot of difference

One message can be communicated in multiple ways. Whether a crisp press release, an elaborative report, a catchy social media citation or an infographic approach in a newsletter, the relaying of this information ultimately ends up in dissemination of content. In order to understand what form of content works best for which platform, it becomes crucial for team content to have a strong base in a PR agency. It thus becomes mandatory as a part of any PR professional’s job to ensure that the message being conveyed out in the public is both politically and grammatically correct. Especially when it comes to reputation management during an unforeseen crisis, there is no room for error, because neither will the public forgive nor will the internet forget. Besides, a brand that has typos in its basic content loses credibility as an authority in the industry.

The technical aspect of content

Building quality content increases engagement, brand visibility, brand recall, and brand connect. Right from grammatical correctness to smoothly flowing, enjoyable writing, to well-structured paragraphs in articles, crisp short copies in social media posts, to well-written dialogues in videos – A way with words is important! SEO is also an important part of staying visible and relevant in the digital space. Winding in keywords and optimising text for search engines, while still making it sound nice and retaining its essence can often be a difficult task. Thus, a strong content team, with a flair for creativity and language can overcome this difficulty effectively.

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not in any way represent the views of exchange4media.com

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