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Tell Your Story

This week’s blog is from Kara Ford, human spark plug, Savannah native, true PR professional, and Creative Coast fanatic.  Kara is one of those people who makes juggling look easy….she can easily keep a dozen tasks moving forward while enjoying a cup at The Bean. Read on as Kara puts a little spin on her field, her passions and how entrepreneurs can capture a bigger audience.  FYI – The Creative Coast’s blogspot is Savannah’s sounding board for local thinkers, innovators, wanderers and wonders. Guest bloggers share their thoughts, opinions and creative noodling from all over the map…

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Over the last decade, the public relations industry has evolved the way it approaches impacting a business’s bottom line. The PR professional that once sought the sexy two-page spread in a glossy print piece has augmented that elusive dangling carrot to include mastering the digital world of 24/7 media and DIY content.

When I first came to Abshire PR as an intern nearly eight years ago, I remember Jennifer Abshire handing me a book called, Putting the Public Back in Public Relations: How Social Media Is Reinventing the Aging Business of PR. In short, the book predicts the end of “yesterday’s PR” and paints a pretty picture of social media transforming the way PR people will reach the next generation of influencers.

That was in 2009. Fast forward to today and we’re still talking about the same thing. My point: striking the perfect balance of marrying the old with the new seems to be the most successful when it’s a thoughtful, gradual process. Don’t feel pressured to make changes to your business model out of fear of being left behind.

For us PR folk, we are constantly working to prove the value of our work to our clients. In much the same way as a herd on the move, industry pressures and new technology have forced us to clamor to get to the finish line first out of fear of being left behind. I’m sure this can be said for just about any business. It’s this sort of frantic behavior that creates a false sense of urgency, oftentimes at the expense of the services that are working.

At APR, we are constantly striving to find the perfect balance of utilizing all of the tools in our toolbox including good, old-fashioned PR and DIY content placement to better position our clients in a marketplace flooded with content.

I was lucky to come into public relations just as the industry had launched its reinvention. It forced me to learn both the “old” and “new” ways of leveraging the power of PR. There is no doubt that changes in society, technology, and consumer needs challenge businesses to rethink how they strategize and execute their services to effectively be a part of the future. However, I have quickly learned that just because change is happening does not mean what’s working today won’t work tomorrow. All too often, the herd mentality can be a dangerous one and sometimes it’s worth the moment to stop and think before forging ahead.

There will always be new and better ways of doing things, but for public relations, it really boils down to telling our clients’ stories effectively. We’re storytellers, and I love that.

If you’re an entrepreneur or starting your own business, there is no one better to tell your own story than you. Take the time to refine what it is you want people to know most about your product or business and then determine who needs to hear it. It may take time — and, believe me, persistence — but if you can capture your story in an easily digestible format and put it in the right hands, the impact is immeasurable.

Kara

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