media update’s Nakedi Phala took some time to chat to Eclipse Communications' co-founder, Jacki McEwen-Powell, who shared her knowledge on how those within the industry can grow their own PR agencies and improve their brand-to-client relationships. 

Due to forever-evolving tech, which is pushing brands into the fourth industrial revolution, one can’t deny that it has brought on the need to let go of traditional ways of conducting business. So, where does this leave PR, then?

Without wasting any more time, let’s get right into it! 

What measures can PR agencies take in order to survive the fast-emergence of the digital space?

The PR landscape is evolving, and with it, the need to integrate traditional PR tactics with digital is becoming increasingly important. 

For agencies just dipping their toes into this space, I would encourage them to create a team that has a strong understanding of shareable content. Engagement is the most important measure of digital success, as content remains king; ultimately, those with the most engaging content will win the digital battle. 

 What’s that one thing PR professionals shouldn’t do when faced with a crisis? Why?

The one thing they should absolutely not do is ignore it and hope it will go away. In an ideal world, crises should be anticipated, with scenario planning set in place and crisis teams readily available, so that plans are already in place before things escalate.

[This allows] reaction to be decisive and swift. When they hit, crises should be dealt with head-on, with empathy (remorse) and a solid plan to fix the issue and avoid any recurrence (resolution). 

 How can PR professionals build relationships that add value to both the agency and client?

Relationships are the currency — be it media, influencer, supplier or client relationships. People don’t always work with the best, but they always work with their favourite. 

In order to be a favourite, one must have a relationship built on authenticity and mutual respect. Take time to really understand what makes the other person tick. 

Read their columns, follow their pages, watch their movements, promote them and celebrate their successes. And, most importantly, treat everyone the way you would want to be treated. 

What’s the best option in terms of PR methods: Traditional, digital or both? Why?

Now that you’re all clued in on how you can take your PR to the next level,  what’s your take on PR going digital? Let us know in the comments section below. 

Weshu... oratile ditaba tjarena akere na? Refe maikutlo agago. 

On a more serious note: Are you aware of, The power of PR in politics?