Whether you are running for President of the United States or planning a communications program in the social media age, focus is key. To me, that focus must clearly be placed on lead generation. The trend developing among clients today is undeniable. Branding, media relations, and all the traditional work we have done over the years is no longer enough. Why? Because the pressure to produce numbers has never been greater. Those pressures are being transferred to all client vendors, including public relations agencies.
In “the olden days,” as my kids would say, we worried about getting articles placed in the “big 5”—The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Fortune and BusinessWeek. It goes without saying that the game has changed significantly. It’s sad to me to see formerly great media brands being reduced to mediocre status. With the decline of print we’ve seen a corresponding increase in the move to social media. So instead of placing a great story and breaking out the champagne, today a story placement is only the start of what we do. Now it’s all about reaching influencers and motivating target audiences through the smart use of social media platforms, videos, content creation, special events with Twitter benefits; the list goes on.
I’ve been in communications for more years than I care to admit and I’ve never seen our business change so dramatically or so quickly. As someone very wise once said, the only thing we can count on is change. And change is happening at warp speed. It is incumbent on all of us in communications to adapt to client needs, and right now they are saying something loud and clear—If you want to meet my needs then it is all about lead generation.