Two children watching tv with the PR Episodes logo by Prowly. A sticker saying "takeaways"
,  · 6 min read · February 21, 2024

PR Episodes 2023: Our Biggest Takeaways from PR Experts

Gina Nowicki

Did you catch our PR Episodes series last month? If you missed it, it featured 30-minute discussions with top PR experts over 5 days.  

We discussed all of the topics currently trending in the PR industry, like Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), AI technology, digital PR, link building, reputation management, crisis management, data-driven PR, and data-driven story-telling. 

As you can guess, the daily takeaways were extraordinary. Take a look at the key takeaways from all 5 PR episodes, then click through to watch the complete episodes on demand.

The PR Episodes:

PR Episodes Day 1 — Corporate Social Responsibility: From Theory to Practice 

The PR Experts

The discussion included Claire Baumann, SVP of BCW Global; Molly McPherson, Author, Podcast Host & Educator; and Aleksandra Kubicka, PR Evangelist at Prowly.

The Main Takeaway

Corporate Social Responsibility: Go Slow to Go Fast

There are a growing number of factors that can influence your brand reputation: governance, ethical principles, safety, culture, employee behavior, social environmental responsibility, and product quality.

So take some time to establish your brand value systems at the start. Think about your value proposition, what you are doing and how it is connected to different issues. Find the answers which best speak to you and only then do you spread the word.

Reputation proof can be achieved if organizations mix transparency with accountability. There’s a huge advantage built into this: if a crisis comes up later on, these companies can fall back on their value systems.

PR Episodes Day 2 — The Skills You Need to Adapt in the Age of Digital PR 

The PR Experts

The panel included Gini Dietrich, CEO of Spin Sucks; Rebecca Moss, Digital PR Director at JBH agency; and Jim James, Author and Podcast Host.

The Main Takeaway

AI technology has an overall favorable impact on PR

Although there are many big changes ahead, the overall prediction is that AI technology offers favorable outcomes for PR professionals.

  • It can save PRs time when drafting pitches and subject lines based on collected data (although PRs will still need to massage their messaging to perfection to achieve true data-driven storytelling).
  • PR software automation tools like Prowly already have AI built into journalist selection tools based on press release content, which saves considerable time in media contact list creation.

The key is being honest and transparent with clients about your use of AI and generative tools and explaining how it's going to benefit them.

PR Episodes Day 3 — How to Make Your Digital PR Campaigns Get to the Top 

The PR Experts

The panel included Jennifer Grey, Digital PR Lead at Green Park Content; James Hayward-Browne, Co-founder of Bottled Imagination; and Sophie Rhone, PR Expert.

The Main Takeaway

Data-driven digital PR is more relevant than ever

Digital PR has become an essential strategy in building brand awareness and supporting reputation management.

  • Successful digital PR campaigns are built on a deep understanding of the target audience through data-driven insights that shape brand messaging and content creation.
  • They incorporate a mix of earned, owned, and paid media, with a focus on leveraging social media platforms to reach and engage target audiences.
  • This means the professional role of Digital PR is expanding beyond traditional media relations to include influencer partnerships, content creation, and community management.

PR Episodes Day 4 — Good Sentiment, Bad Sentiment: Working Through a Reputation Crisis

The PR Experts

Listen in on this discussion between Tonya McKenzie, PR & Leadership Consultant, CEO of Sand&Shores; and Jen Berson, Founder of Jeneration PR.

The Main Takeaways

Act quickly, but not until you have a plan

Communication is key when handling reputation management and leaders need to be the ones to speak during a crisis. A failure to address and fix trust issues right away can lead to long-term reputational damage. Here are a few lessons on handling a PR disaster:

  • Taking responsibility and being transparent is also important as is being authentic when giving apologies.
  • Don’t act on impulse. Instead, make a plan in advance so you don’t intensify the problem.
  • When it’s all cooled down, analyze the damage, both fiscally and socially, and come up with short- and long-term solutions to prevent the same crisis from happening again.

Before and during a PR crisis, tools like Prowly can help you monitor your brand mentions. Negative sentiment can actually be an opportunity to turn critics into brand advocates if a company shows they care and take decisive action.

PR Episodes Day 5 — Data-Driven PR in Action: Case Studies and Best Practices 

The PR Experts

In this episode, you can hear from Jana Garanko, Head Of Public Relations at Semrush.

The Main Takeaway

Newsjacking is still worth pursuing

Many journalists continue to say they're more likely to cover a story if it includes recent news. Makes sense: timeliness in a topic makes it more likely to be published right away because it's…. well, newsworthy.

Second, this tactic is cost-effective. Brands that use newsjacking have reported seeing a 10% increase in organic search traffic. That's definitely something that can lead to an increase in sales and revenue.

You can even use someone else’s data to write a great story which has the potential to be a hit. Just be sure to credit the original data source.

Watch the Full PR Episodes Series

Enjoy these session shortcuts? There’s a lot more to learn and be inspired by!

Our speakers also shared their tips on: digital PR reporting, using Twitter and social media to take your relationships with journalists to a higher level, creating step by step plan B to make your brand bulletproof, and more.

Register now to watch all of the PR Episodes and see the full discussions with our PR experts. All at your own place and time.