Why traditional PR still matters in 2017

Posted by Robin Rectenwald on 1/25/17 11:00 AM

As the newest member of the WordWrite team, I’m absolutely thrilled to be working for clients who value the power of PR. Prior to coming to WordWrite Communications, I was the director of public relations at a local nonprofit organization. Without a budget for paid advertising and other marketing campaigns, I had to rely on social media, media relations and community relations to share our mission.

Do you know what I learned? In the era of social media, PR still makes a huge impact on business goals.

How do I know this? Almost every time the organization was mentioned in an article, we received emails and phone calls from people interested in donating or volunteering. This is the power of PR.

You may have read articles in the past couple of weeks listing the top 2017 trends in the marketing and communications world. My advice – don’t forget about traditional PR this year. Here are three reasons why.  

You Can Reach a Mass Audience

Major news outlets are the best way to reach a large audience at once.

The American Press Institute recently reported that most Americans still get their news directly from a news organization, such as a newspaper, TV newscast, website, or newswire (88 percent), with a smaller percentage of people reporting that they get news from word-of-mouth (65%), social media (44%) and search engines (51%).

While most Americans have smartphones, the study also found that we still rely on traditional media to access the news. The API report found that Americans on average followed the news using four different devices or technologies including television (87%), laptops/computers (69%), radio (65%), and print newspapers or magazines (61%).

Even in the era of social media, this study shows that traditional media gives you the opportunity to reach mass audiences more effectively than hoping for increased organic likes on Facebook.

You Gain Third Party Credibility

It’s true: You can’t always trust what you read on the internet. Case in point, Google and Facebook were recently under fire due to the amount of fake news that flooded the internet, during the U.S. presidential campaign. Critics claim fake news influenced the results. Is it any surprise then that Pew Research recently found (see chart below) that more people trust news coming directly from the news media than they do from social media, even in an era of profound distrust for the news media.

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You Can Improve Your Google Ranking

Traditional media not only helps your credibility with real people, it also boosts your credibility with Google. Successful search engine optimization includes having your website linked to other authoritative websites. If a major news outlet puts a link to your website in a news article and shares it on social media, it will help increase your search rankings as well.

 Here at WordWrite Communications, we put a lot of time into strategic media planning and we encourage your company to do the same. Yes, newspaper staffs are shrinking and broadcast TV faces a decline in viewers, but people are still reading and watching news. When you have a good story to tell, share it with a respected journalist and see how PR will help your business goals.   


Robin is a senior account executive at WordWrite Communications.  She can be reached at robin.rectenwald@wordwritepr.com.

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Topics: public relations

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