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5 Ways PAN Communications is Shaping the PR Industry

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Author: Ashley Wallace Jones, Vice President, Integrated Marketing & Analytics at PAN Communications, headshot
Ashley Wallace JonesVice President, Integrated Marketing & PR
how is the PR industry evolving?

In my professional day-to-day, I read a lot. I read to keep up-to-date on advancements and best practices in all areas of marketing and advertising. I read about trends in tech and healthcare – industries that are tried and true to our clients here at PAN. And I read a multitude of other articles and assets that help us tell stories – really good stories. In fact, reading is what drove me to write this blog.

I came across an article on LinkedIn titled, “Is Public Relations Dying?”, and my main takeaway (from this single perspective) was that PR is only really good for “product launches, mergers and acquisitions, communicating major corporate restructures, product breakthroughs, and crisis management”. And here’s why that lit a fire – PR is So. Much. More Than That.

how is the PR industry evolving?

Source: under CC license.

For more than 20 years, PAN’s been moving ideas, creating compelling stories, driving intent and influencing markets across all forms of media – not only in the US, but with partnerships around the world. While the industry has certainly gone through significant evolution over the last two decades, my main point and takeaway for you is this: like every other industry that’s being put to the test by changing and quickening demands, PR is only dead if it doesn’t evolve. And this is where PAN really sticks out to me, and one of the many reasons I decided to join this firm. Not only has PAN evolved with the times, but I feel it’s taken this bull by the horns to lead and shape a best-in-class path for the future of PR and Integrated Marketing.

PAN thrives because we partner with clients to execute a combination of services that better engage with target audiences and move markets. We focus less on the traditional mechanics of public relations, and more on truly understanding our clients and their business, the audiences they want to reach, and the industries and channels that influence them.

Our mission was, is and will always be to bring great stories to life and move great ideas, which is why I’d like to invite a few of my colleagues to share how exactly PAN is bringing that mission to life every day, and redefining PR as we knew it in 5 key ways:

Lauren Kaufman, PR and marketing1. Driving Data-Centric Strategies that Create Authentic and Relevant Touch Points: For far too long PR, marketing and advertising have said ‘let’s just throw it against the wall and see what sticks”. In fact, 92% of marketers think the content they create oozes authenticity, but 51% of consumers feel less than half of all brands accomplish this. That’s why we use advanced analytics tools for real-time analysis to see what’s resonating and what’s not. By being more mindful and efficient with how we build and run our programs from the start, our optimizations and recommendations become more actionable; informing us when to dial up what’s working, and subsequently pivot if needed. Approaching business objectives using data-centric strategies like this enables us to dig deep into truly understanding our clients’ audience and industry. From what they’re talking about on social and in the press, to what they’re searching for on Google. It all factors into our ability to deliver the right message, at the right time, to the audiences that matter most to our client’s business. With almost 3.5B Google searches every day, the rate of content being produced is staggering and will continue to rise. By thinking critically from ideation through to reporting, pulling the key data points needed to feel confident in our recommendations, we better understand the noise and what it will take to break through it.” – Lauren Kaufman, Director, Integrated Marketing & Analytics

darlene doyle pr and marketing2. Creating Impactful Storytelling Moments That Result In Ownable Conversations and Opportunities: We’ve recently introduced “hotseat” media training as a quick and highly-focused 1:1 ‘power session’ with executives. While group sessions are great, 1:1 training and in-the-moment feedback can be highly impactful. Our clients can develop hard-hitting and differentiated messaging, but if those messages aren’t made to stick through soundbites, data and customer examples, they never reach their full potential. We want to help our clients translate messages into stories that connect with their audience.” – Darlene Doyle, Executive Vice President, Client Relations

michele frost_pr and marketing3. Executing Integrated Channel Combinations Specific to Audience and Industry: “As marketing communications professionals, we’re responsible for brand awareness and the prospect journey. That responsibility is channel agnostic. Buyers use them all when researching options, therefore our Integrated Marketing (IM) and Public Relations (PR) teams must think holistically. In a PR only plan, clients approve the press release or pitch angle. Clients with an IM and PR program approve the press release, marketing channel mix, measurement plan, organic and paid social plan, web copy, blog content, sales enablement materials or influencer outreach recommendations – It’s one fluid motion. No matter the program type, we always lead with strategies that meet our media coverage readiness standards. And if it’s worth covering, it’s worth sharing, and we’ll be ready to pull that information through, using all channels, before the first pitch.” – Michele Frost, Vice President, Integrated Marketing

jen bonney pr and marketing4. Bringing Each Client’s Brand to Life in Unique, Stand-out Ways: “We think of good design as a shortcut to a brand’s soul. At the heart of any successful brand is a design strategy that communicates who the brand is, what they stand for, and why they are necessary. From websites to logos, social media accounts to marketing collateral, exceptional design is vital to a successful marketing strategy. Every brand is competing for attention online, and because technology has made attention spans shorter, visual stories more important than ever before, and good design is one of the best ways to stand out. At PAN, we use visuals aimed to get the attention of our target personas. We find out how they search, what they want and what they need, and we create visual content that not only gets their attention, but also gets to the heart of what “keeps them up at night”. We never undervalue the importance of visual marketing, and we push our clients to include design as part of their marketing strategy from the very beginning. Brand visualization is no longer a finishing touch, or the shiny bow you add at the end. Design has to go beyond aesthetic, because first impressions can make or break a brand.” – Jen Bonney, Creative Director

tim munroe pr and marketing5. Thoughtful New Partnership Development for 360º Success: “PAN works with B2B technology and healthcare marketers that are forward-thinking in their PR and integrated marketing approach – regardless of their company’ evolutionary stage as a brand. We aim to work with new clients that are striving to enhance their thought leadership among their industry peers. To do this, PAN developed NXT Stage, a blueprint for B2B marketers that recognizes the unique challenges of brand awareness and engagement as a company grows and evolves, and provides strategic guidance to focus for impact. Whether your brand is an emerging technology startup with a ground-breaking vision, in the midst of securing a B-round of venture capital, is looking to IPO, or wants to enhance its valuation, NXT Stage can take you there.” – Tim Munroe, Vice President, Business Development

As I step down from my soap box, my hope is that you learned how PAN is making PR more than just a brand bodyguard. PR is about great stories. Great stories we get the honor to tell about the companies – technologies and innovations – that are changing lives. Our leader, CEO and Founder, Phil Nardone said it best, that “with the continued rise in alternative media sources, robust owned content engines and more companies than reporters, it’s critical that we are finding new ways to get our client’s stories told. This is an incredibly overwhelming time, but also an exciting one. Our role in the new PR world is to harness all these changes and data points and turn them into KPIs that measure the impact of our work and how they map to our client’s business objectives to create the right ideas and connect.

PR thought leadership

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