PR's evolution: More social than ever before
Singapore - While the public relations landscape in Singapore has a history of being conservative, it has transformed in recent years with industry practitioners attributing these developments to the proliferation of online media, especially the growth of social media.
In anticipation of the Agency of the Year (AOTY) Awards on 16 May, Marketing spoke to finalists in the Public Relations Agency of the Year category to gauge their thoughts on developments in the industry.
All of them agreed saying social media has prompted public relations agencies to rethink their communications strategies and how they create content.
"The landscape of today differs greatly compared to when Fulford PR was first established," Linda Fulford, managing director for Fulford Public Relations, said.
"Over the years we've found client knowledge and awareness of the value and benefits of public relations have grown exponentially, and we are confident that the industry will continue to grow apace with Singapore's business community."
Others agreed the new approaches to PR have been welcomed by clients. "Public relations practitioners here are raring to suggest new approaches, and clients are more willing to consider them," Baey Yam Keng, managing director for Hill+Knowlton Strategies added.
This in turn has benefited PR firms as clients see them as being able to do much more than just media positioning, according to Ian Grundy, managing director for Citrus Public Relations.
"With the increased interest in social media, the smarter firms have become experts in this area."
Baey added that while full-time editorial staff still exist, the rise in citizen journalism and blogging has started to also influence public opinion.
"Singapore public relations agencies have to take all these developments into account when they advise their clients on preparing the right message at the right time in the right format for the right audience."
The public relations industry is unfazed by the dynamics of the environment it is in rather it recognises that the only way to support the industry growth is by innovating.
"Its about moving even higher up the value chain and becoming far more strategic in out approach," Grundy said.
Agencies agreed that for an industry that has to keep itself versatile, especially in a fast-paced and constantly changing landscape, keeping the formula right and having critical conversations with audience members are keys to the agency's success.
"Public Relations is a resilient and versatile industry. It emerged from the 2009 worldwide recession in relatively decent shape, and I think the future for public relations will continue to be bright in the years and decades to come," Fulford said.
The agencies also shared their delight at being short listed as a finalist for the Agency of the Year Awards.
Grundy, whose agency is making its debut as a finalist exclaimed: "This is our first nomination and the result of a lot of smart and hard work. The team is thrilled."
"The best of the best will be at the event and it will be a time to compare and to learn," Baey, commenting on what he is looking forward to on the awards gala night on 16th May, added.
Find out more about Marketing magazine's Agency of the Year Awards 2012 here: http://aotyawards.com/2012/sg/index.html.
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- Fulford Public Relations
- Hill and Knowlton
- Citrus Public Relations
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