Today, we live in a constantly changing world where public relations is also a rapidly evolving field. As young PR professionals, we have to be agile enough to deal with it. To address this issue, PR expert Marian Salzman, CEO of Havas PR North America, gave Newhouse students an inspiring presentation, “Agile PR: Expert Messaging in a Hyper-Connected, Always-on World,” at Newhouse.
Salzman provided us multiple practical methods in order to be agile in public relations. First, throw away the map. We must have quick reflexes in order to be prepared for unexpected things. Also, Salzman said, we should play with persuasion, which means to make like a journalist, think like a shrink and communicate with concise words.
Then, we need to brand the conversation and snap to it. We need to put our brand in every possible place, and offer authentic interaction and a VIP feel, which further blurs the lines between content and media. Additionally, it is important to act quickly and build ethical brands, but never “greenwash” the image, which means that we should never try to build a positive image for an unethical brand. Moreover, we should think like a local and connect to consumers who are looking for something authentic, inspiring and credible.
Salzman’s methods to be agile in PR resonated with me a lot. It enhanced my understanding of how to keep up with the shifting communications landscape. We need to move fast, skip around obstacles and change direction without losing momentum.
This presentation was definitely valuable to my peers. First, Salzman pointed out that today, we can hardly control the content we create. Everything is online, so we must act quickly and be agile. Then she provided us multiple methods to do so, like preparing for the unexpected. That enabled us to feel more confident to enter this rapidly evolving industry.