It’s no secret that PR is evolving with the times. The press release of yesterday is slowly being replaced by Snapchat stories from social media influencers like @GirlWithNoJob. But PR practitioners shouldn’t fear, because as long as you’re able to adapt to these changing times, by embracing new forms of communication, then your brand or product will continue to stay top of mind among modern consumers.


Hawkins International team members Ellyse and Emily recently had the opportunity to attend the PRSA Tri-State Conference titled “Modern PR: Engaging in a Digital World.” The conference brought in top PR pros and journalists from various industries including music, technology, fashion and consumer goods. Here are our top six takeaways!

  1. Embrace Cultural Differences

Kara Alaimo taught us that you have to tailor PR strategies to the particular culture you’re engaging with. For example, Asia follows a “personal influence model” which means that the best way to achieve goals is to make friends with the locals and build relationships with key decision makers over time.

  1. With Journalists, More is More

When pitching, you need to have all of the information ready (and more) before hitting send to a journalist! In today’s digital newsrooms, stories need to be created at rapid fire speed, and everything from images, quotes, key spokespeople, etc. need to be identified as early as possible.

  1. Don’t Stalk the Media

Be consistent with pitching and don’t be afraid to ask a journalist for their preferences. Do they welcome phone calls? Is follow up necessary? You want to ensure that you maintain a mutually beneficial relationship and avoid any “email awkwardness.” In addition, be sure to check their social media profiles prior to outreach to ensure they’re in the office and you’re not bombarding them while on vacation.

  1. How Will You React?

Anticipating a crisis is just as important as responding to a crisis. If there is a standard set of policies and procedures for how a business handles themselves, then that will make the management process all the more seamless. For example, where are you planning to respond first? Will it be a press release? Are you going to post on social media? Who will the contact be? These are all important questions to ask.

  1. Everyone Deserves a Seat at the Table

Companies with top marketing and PR campaigns view the marketing process as closely collaborative. For example, Casper Mattress, whose ads have made quite the splash on Subways, knows that every campaign needs to have social media, PR, advertising, and e-marketing legs.

  1. Get Creative with Messaging

While the press release isn’t dead, yet. There are many more creative ways in which to promote the same type of content through different mediums. For example, a standard press release could transform into an info-graphic or a 360 video with narrative. The opportunities are endless!

Overall, the conference was a great way to network with industry professionals, acquire effective strategies for communicating with media and polish pitching skills. We’re already looking forward to the next conference and hope to see you there!

-Emily Shearburn


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