The New Definition of PR in the Digital Age

Public Relations are activities and systems designed to manage the public perception of an organization or individual. The Digital age is this present age, and due to the prevalence of online medium in many activities, things are now done differently.  

Suppose an individual has a reputation or history of being inconsiderate or mean to the masses. In that case, such a fellow will find it hard to garner votes for election to a position as his or her reputation shall make many a voter not to vote him for election. 

Taking an example of other sectors such as Fashion, many brands have commanded higher prices for the same apparel produced by other brands due to their great reputation of quality in that space. In 2020, a brand was valued at approximately 34.8 billion U.S. dollars. This value is just on the brand’s name perception, not including physical and tangible assets such as inventory, raw material, machinery, etc. 

The era of human processes has been in various stages. The Agrarian Age was agriculture; farming, livestock, harvesting, etc. Next to that was the Industrial Age, which involves using machinery for production, provision, etc. This present age, the Digital Age, is an information era characterized by online media for activities. 

Communication is via Television, Radio, telephone, email, etc., unlike in past ages, signs and symbols were used. In the past, when a state leader wants to communicate with the populace, bells are rung on the streets for announcements. However, in this digital age, mediums such as Television, Radio, and Internet are employed.  

Also, in past ages, the populace’s occupation was carried out with bare hands, especially in the Agrarian Age. The industrial age made use of machinery, but in this digital age, online media is used in most occupations, banking, trading, etc. 

Thus in the field of Public Relations, the digital medium now prevails. This is important as the majority of the populace are online most time. Most individuals above the age of ten now have a mobile phone to communicate from every part of the world. 

It is thus important that Public Relations practitioners utilize the digital medium optimally. Advertising which helps create awareness of a product or organization, has been utilizing this medium maximally. YouTube generated $15 billion of gross ad revenue in 2020, and Facebook generated $69.7 billion from advertising in 2019. All these spendings are examples of how Public Relations practitioners utilize the digital medium to shape the populace’s perception of their products or organization. 

Digital PR and PR for startup companies which often involve press releases and pitches to the media should utilize the digital medium via posts on vlogs, blogs, opinions on media pages, etc. This posts appearing as opinions or statement helps reinforce a brand, product, organization or personality messages to the populace. 

Digital PR could be used to spur awareness of their products or service for startups or new organizations with little or no budget. Interviews or posts and press releases could be used. 

Digital PR helps garner desired attention and patronage of products and services. Public Relations also help repair images where the wrong impression of an organization has been created.