Lest we forget

Image: Flikr.com

Image: Flikr.com

It’s a conversation we’ve all been a part of and something I’m sure most of us are sick of talking about; the moment when Internet entered the world of PR. Sure, it was a huge deal but are we still really talking about it? Dwelling on the topic, we seem to have forgotten the ‘good ol days’ when people didn’t check Facebook first thing like it was the morning paper. Those days when practitioners didn’t know what a tweet was and would instead rely on traditional communication means like print media.

But despite my cynicism, it is important to realise that we now live in a world where technology is advancing faster than we can keep up with it. Although this means huge things for the industry, it’s important not to forget traditional methods used before the existence of the World Wide Web, and pair this with the demands of today’s consumer.

I’ve already spoken about PR 2.0 and just to refresh, I defined it as the way practitioners personalise stories for the people they want to reach. But alongside relationship building, PR 2.0 is about adaptation and the way practitioners alter past approaches to suit the needs of a modern audience. It’s blending the use of traditional media with social media to gain greater reach and form those key relationships between brand and consumer.

Recognising this concept and its potential for greater reach, search engine giant, Google, released Think Quarterly – a print magazine for the company’s UK business partners. Designed by creative agency, The Church of London (TCOL), Google decided to launch the print medium as a way to offer readers “a breathing space in a busy world”.

As Google moved into new territory, TCOL founder, Danny Miller said, “magazines are simply very effective ways of engaging with people. To the greatest extent, it just seems like common sense to us that any company would want to communicate with people through print.”

Since it’s launch in 2011, Think Quarterly has been a powerful communication tool for Google and an example of how traditional media such as print can still be an effective source of communication and a means to build those important consumer relationships.

As the conversation over the impact of the Internet still drags on, we can’t forget about old school communication in PR. It’s time to begin a new conversation and one that resurrects the use of traditional media, suited for the needs of a modern consumer.

Reference: Breakenridge, D. K. (2008). PR 2.0: New media, new tools, new audiences. FT Press.

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