Looking for a Public Relations Agency? Use our Free matching service to find the right agency for you.

User login

PRCA South West on the Road to Revolution

Post by Ellen Carroll, director of Nellie PR and founder of PR that PAYS.

We are in a time of constant change and living through very interesting times with much uncertainty. At a higher industry level, there seems to be constant debate about redefining public relations so I headed into the PRCA South West ‘Transforming PR and Comms’ event with a healthy dose of scepticism hoping for some enlightenment and discussion rather than more introspection.

Our host for the event was Devon & Cornwall Police Headquarters in Exeter, and I don’t think I was the only one that got the slight feeling of being on a ‘Line of Duty’ film set as you walked through the venue to get to our seats. OK, just me then.

Andy Green, director of StoryStartsHere, delivered the talk – the first in a series of new training and networking events to hit the South West – taking us out of our seats and on a journey with him as part of the #DublinConversations to share new thinking about the future of public relations.

His talk reinforced the importance of trust in public relations and strategic comms:

Advertising was born out of the need to get known and noticed.

Public relations was born out of the need to be trusted. 

Looking at blurred lines, psychology, emergence theory, bottom-up approaches to PR and his concern about a PR revolution without a map – he covered some serious ground.

One of the biggest takeaways was the need to re-look at your PR briefs following five simple steps. Do they do one or more of the following? Is your brand or organisation:

  1. Known?
  2. Liked?
  3. Trusted?
  4. Front-of-mind?
  5. Talked about?

Ask yourself, how well are we known…how well are we liked, trusted, front-of-mind or talked about? He is also introduced his trust gap mapping tool and opened us all up to a new way of thinking about the PESO model.

I know I know, there is lots of debate about the need for a more PR-led model or a reordering of the P, E, S, and the O (what letters in what order work for you?) but I did like his argument to change ‘Owned’ to ‘Own’ to reflect the need for organisations to include their own behaviour in this rather than just seeing it as an ‘Owned’ channel.

Quite a fascinating evening and it was great to attend an event on my doorstep championing public relations and comms, bringing together some great minds and good conversation.

I’ll leave you with the draft #DublinConversations definition of public relations using the OSEP model.

Public relations emerged out of the need to earn trust for any social interaction because no one is an island. Effective public relations creates better influence, relationships, reputation, social capital and word-of-mouth. 

Public relations operates in a ‘strategic comms’ environment alongside advertising and other communication and marketing disciplines to earn confidence for social interactions to take place by being known, liked, trusted, front-of-mind, or being talked about through using Own, Shared, Earned or Paid-for channels to connect with others.

See you at the next PRCA South West event or on the road to Dublin – connect with Andy Green, @andygreencre8iv, to find out more and join the road trip.