Though it’s rare for companies and PR pros, especially those in the B2C space, to be without a digital PR or video effort, some communicators view digital PR as a storytelling supplement only. They add video, podcasts and other social media tools to the communication plan only after more traditional media relations elements are set.
Digital & Technology
When it comes to deploying artificial intelligence (AI) in PR, the debate continues. Most agree that PR teams managing massive amounts of data should invest in machine-learning technology and AI experts. But not all experts think it’s necessary for smaller teams.
When cybercrime hits, you realize quickly it’s very different from almost any other crisis. It requires a tailored and measured approach to communicating with stakeholders. In the event of a cyberattack: Are you ready to comply with regulatory requirements? Do you have back-up channels so you can communicate with stakeholders? Do you have a back-up list of employee and stakeholder contacts? Are you ready to respond publicly without inciting threat actors to wreak more havoc on the brand?
We asked Rachael Horwitz, operating partner at Andreessen Horowitz, about ‘translating’ a new currency format. We also asked what communicators at small companies need to consider as crypto continues its increasingly larger role in the business zeitgeist.
PR agencies are working on tools and processes to curb the spread of disinformation. PR trade groups and agencies recognize disinformation as an issue that clouds their clients’ messaging. Recently Ruder Finn and Edelman joined the ranks of those offering tools to combat disinformation and identify sources of some of the noise.
There are few issues more important to organizations than disinformation, cyber crime, breaches and hacks. Communicators can contribute to the fight against these scourges by keeping one thing in mind: Know your audience. With that knowledge, it’s easier to spot aberrant behavior, which may indicate a disinformation effort.
While we lack data on it, we’ll guess that with so many employees working from home since the start of the pandemic, the already-sparse scheduling of desktop crisis drills has contracted even more. One of the characteristics of crisis is an uncanny ability to arrive according to its schedule, not yours. As a result, a PR crisis strikes when the CEO is in a remote part of China negotiating a deal or the COO is on a ski vacation in Aspen and has gone off the grid. As such, the most realistic crisis-readiness exercises, pre-pandemic and now, were and are conducted with staff situated in various locations.
The pandemic has changed many parts of our lives, yet something that vexed senior leaders one year ago is a constant: Can you engage employees, sustain a corporate culture and encourage innovation in a largely remote world? Ruder Finn CEO Kathy Bloomgarden offers ideas to promote innovative thinking and connectedness when most if not all employees are WFH.
It seems safe for communicators to assume live events won’t return, at best, before late summer or Q4. That leaves some eight to nine months for companies to continue to stage virtual activities, including trade shows, press conferences, media interviews and other events.
Though PR service companies are underrepresented in our industry’s history, they are responsible for much innovation in the sector. In fact, a few services companies date back to the late 1800s. Let’s look at some of the people behind these successful businesses that helped shape PR.