Public Relations | Social Media | Content Marketing
At Keep Left we’re all about great ideas, executed well.
A long-standing independent public relations agency, we’ve been helping brands and businesses successfully communicate with their audiences since 2001.
As cross-media communicators, we firmly believe in the fundamentals of traditional media relations, while simultaneously bringing our clients into the right digital and social media conversations.
We pride ourselves on combining creative left field thinking with strategic left brain processes and specialise in the following areas:
- Food PR &Drink PR
- Retail PR
- Health & Beauty PR
- Property PR
- Social Change PR
- Tech PR
- Franchising PR
- Corporate PR
PR in the 21st century
By Gillian Yeap
It’s been over a week since I attended CommsCon but my mind is still full of the many insights delivered from the various speakers that day. From streams on content marketing and social media trends, to issues management and the art of new business pitching – the program certainly packed a punch.
One of my biggest problems on the day was deciding which stream I’d attend. Luckily, our CEO had the content and digital side of things well and truly covered. She had the slightly more exciting gig of attending SXSW (you can read about some of her key learnings here).
One of the most interesting sessions was the stream on how modern PR agencies today are re-inventing themselves and building new revenue streams. In a world where earned, paid and owned media are becoming increasingly intertwined, one of the key challenges for our industry is how we evolve our businesses so we stay relevant. And with that comes the challenge of the type of people and skillsets we need to consider.
Today, public relations programs have to go beyond traditional media and also consider digital PR, influencer engagement, social media strategy and content production. It begs the question – what type of consultant do we then need to employ? We want the millennial PR professional to be prolific on social media, to know who’s who in the online influencer space and to understand how content such as video can amplify our story-telling. And let’s not forget that we still want them to have a really strong understanding of traditional media.
Is it too much for us to expect the millennial consultant to have all these skills? If so, where do we draw the line? Do they also need to have basic production skills? Is a high-level understanding of website development and data analytics required?
Or do we accept that in an increasingly digital world, PR professionals can’t possibly know everything anymore, and we have to start bringing in specialists – or partner with agencies who have these specialists. People with different skill sets, such as community managers, content producers, data analysts and website developers.
For most of the members on the panel, it was the latter – though interestingly, one of the speakers mentioned that his best community manager was also the best team member to pitch a media story, because she had an understanding of the bigger picture.
It’s an interesting debate. I don’t think that as an industry, we’ve quite nut it out just yet. But whether we choose to partner with experts, employ specialists or all upskill, one thing is clear. While clients today still want traditional media, it’s now part of a broader mix.
A few years ago, the most common way of business expansion was through sectors – we certainly experienced this at Keep Left, where we evolved our core specialisation in food & drink PR, tech PR, franchising and corporate PR to also include strong credentials in property PR, beauty PR and not for profit PR.
However PR today is all about the services we provide alongside traditional PR. Whether it’s digital, content, design or production – it doesn’t have to be all of these. But if we don’t start firming up concrete strategies for including at least some of the above in our toolkit, we’ll run the risk of being left behind.