Uberization of PR: Changes are twice as fast for us
Why Communication is More Important Than Ever
Communication is an integral part of successful business.
Today's communication processes do not resemble those of 5 or 10 years ago in the slightest, because people and organisations now function differently. This is a continuous process based on ongoing research and focused on accomplishing business goals.
How technology influences the job of communicators
Companies and brands have that kind of effect in today’s rapidly changing world. As consultants, we change twice as fast, because we have to predict development directions. We also use all available analytical methods and prepare strategic plans to ensure the timely implementation of the communication activities of companies and brands, based on current circumstances and the achieving of business goals, enhanced by creative content that captures the attention of target groups.
We are surrounded by a huge quantity of information 24/7. We are using several devices at once. Consequently, the average attention span today is only 8 seconds, with a tendency of dropping to 5 seconds by the end of this decade. That’s why every single brand and organisation has to deal with a substantial surplus of information and their target groups not having enough time.
Technology has made our lives incomparably easier and has generated some great opportunities, creates challenges that we have to overcome. Apart from supporting companies and brands, we have tried to find solutions for the problems of this modern day and age through important socially responsible ideas, thereby changing the world for the better regardless of the nature of the problem at hand – be it supporting vulnerable groups or tolerating diversity.
Are the companies in Serbia willing to invest in communication?
Communication does not happen by itself or for itself. Just look at any interview, advertising campaign, street event, or Facebook post. There is a clear business goal behind all of these activities, which contribute to a broader strategy. Most companies recognise that modern times are very much like playing Tetris – change is never-ending.
Companies are aware of the fact that product consumption is changing together with the perception of brands. Transparency is growing, while proactive communication is today a must. The way in which companies conduct dialogue with their target groups is changing and companies are much more exposed today. This means that the need for them to be ready has become even more pressing. To that end, preparing for crisis situations are becoming increasingly important components, as are modifying or preparing crisis manuals for companies, communication training for management, and simulating crisis situations.
Some companies have been investing in proactive communication for some time now, while some do this only when they have to deal with a problem. For some, crisis is a trigger, just like competition, a new product or innovation, an anniversary, a new website or the need to build bridges with the local community, the media, staff, or business partners.
My advice for companies is to maintain and continue improving this process, because nothing is stagnant in the world of business, including competition. One-off investments are not justified, while the breakdown in communication, by default, annuls the value that has been created. Hence, from my experience and speaking long-term, communication is also a business reflection of an organisation.
Uberization of public relations
We unlock our phones 150 times a day on average. Do you think that this number will decrease over time? Uber-ization is a positive term. Now, more than ever, PR is based on data and measurements. They help us to think above and beyond the usual channels and contacts. Technology gives us information and tools for marketing content, while we are the ones that shape this content, put it in context, and ‘season’ it with big ideas.
What makes a PR agency successful
In the last few years, Chapter 4 has received several awards from national professional associations, as well as at European events, despite very tough international competition. This is a strong argument in our favour that also speaks volumes about the importance of the quality of services and having a modern approach to working with clients. Furthermore, we in Serbia have had many opportunities to manage important regional projects on behalf of our clients that spanned several continents. We proved to ourselves that we know and can.
As the agency's director, I think that people are our most important asset that has to be nurtured. An agency is as strong as its team. Our knowledge and experience are the factors that influence our activities on directing and advising our clients. Hence, it is of utmost importance to invest in people, their skills and motivation; to continue pushing the envelope, so to speak.
The author of the text is Tamara Bekčić, Director and Co-Founder of Chapter 4 Agency; the text was initially prepared for the Communication edition within October Diplomacy&Commerce magazine.