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Influencer Engagement & What Makes News Today

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The PRCAI event in New Delhi yesterday was attended by 100 PR professionals from Delhi.
The program included panels on ‘influencer marketing’ and ‘what makes news?’. In addition, there was a book launch for Shraddha Sharma’s (Founder and CEO – ‎YourStory Media) new book ‘Cut the Crap and Jargon’, this was followed by a discussion between Nitin Mantri (President PRCAI and CEO Avian Media) and Jyotsna Sharma, the Executive Editor of PITCH.

Here are the excerpts from the chat:

JS: What is the new PR person like? Is he a social media whiz?

NM: The traditional PR person has slowly become irrelevant. In the changing landscape, he has to evolve to become creative- adept at social media and good at creating content. In fact, the study conducted by PRCAI found that 70% of the PR firms are looking for talent that has these attributes. He has to know and own the brand.

JS: Your thoughts on paid vs earned placement / media?

NM: For PR professionals, earned will continue to remain at the core of what we do and we shouldn’t try to change that. Owned will gain more significance but at the end of the day, it will be a mix of all three – i.e. paid, owned and earned.

JS: We have just had an informative panel on Influencer marketing so I won’t go into that but do give me your views on paid influencers?

NM: An advertorial is quite self-evident, in the way that once you read it you know it’s an advertorial. However, when you talk about paid influencers, credibility poses an issue. I mean, if I know someone has been paid to write an article, or endorse a brand online would I trust that judgement?

JS: Is the press release dead? Why can’t it be tailored to suit different media making it more effective?

NM: Well it depends on what you are writing in it, also some factions believe that by that time the press release is sent, the news has already been tweeted. Personally, I feel it is still a medium to disseminate news but yes, it can be done better. It can and should be tailored to make it relevant to different media.

Why it is not done ranges from budgets to laziness.

JS: My last question to you – could you briefly list out the upcoming PR trends for 2018.

NM: Well, to name just a few:

– Content has become very important and will continue to be important.
– There has been a shift away from media relations; work is getting divided into social, digital, content, public affairs, the government sector and CSR. Going forward, the new PR person, will have multiple facets to focus on.
– The traditional PR person will be obsolete.

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