I’ve heard it a million times: “PR doesn’t work.” And then people break up with their publicist. I get it: Your relationship with your publicist is very important. I mean, they are your voice in the world, after all. 🌎

Most of the time when I hear these public relations breakup stories, people start by sharing with me exactly how PR has failed them and how this left them feeling let down. “Well,” I say, “there’s good news and there’s bad news.”

The bad news is that the world has changed and PR doesn’t work the same way it used to. No longer can you simply land those coveted national placements and — ta-dah! — your ship has come in and all your dreams come true. We can’t bring back the glory days of VHS either, but don’t worry — like video, PR has evolved.

The good news is that traditional PR still has tremendous value and is important to any campaign. There’s nothing like traditional PR to establish credibility for your product, services or cause. It demonstrates that you have been vetted and have passed the proverbial mustard with the media and, ultimately, it helps you achieve the goals you are committed to fulfilling for your work.

With all the right pieces in place, PR can not only create credibility, it can also create opportunity, opening the doorway to achieving all that you originally hoped for with a PR campaign. So, what are these “right pieces” and how do they make traditional PR effective in the modern world?

Optimize Your Public Relations In The Digital Age

Old-School Versus New-School PR

The main difference between old PR success and new PR success lies in the fact that we now must tie in the modern expectations of a great website and a strong social media presence. Let’s start with your website. Yes, PR will undoubtedly drive traffic to your site, but if you don’t have a clear inbound marketing plan, you won’t be able to effectively capture those leads.

💡 Your site needs:

  • A professional, updated design
  • High-quality images
  • Lead-nurturing and capture strategies
  • A clear, aligned brand identity
  • A powerful call to action

This allows you to nurture the relationships that come your way through both PR and advertising channels. It takes more energy to close a deal with today’s customers because we are bombarded with information overload and more options than we can handle. If your site doesn’t stand out — in a good way, not for its 90s nostalgic charm — then you are losing any credibility that PR may otherwise have generated for you.

The other modern-day must-have is a notable social media presence. PR will land you in the traditional media, but your target audience then wants to connect with you on all the social media channels they love most. If you aren’t making yourself available for meaningful connection on these platforms, you are once again derailing the credibility that PR-generated media coverage has planted for you.

📢 Your social media needs:

  • Engaging content
  • Engaged followers
  • An engagement strategy
  • Brand identity alignment
  • Post frequency

People connect and share with each other online all day, every day. If you’re not part of the conversation, PR can’t work the way you want it to.  👊

PR Does Work

If you find yourself in a publicist breakup thinking that PR has let you down, consider for a moment that it might not be PR that is failing you. In this day and age, great media coverage only equates to the overall campaign success you want when it is paired with the right web and social elements to complete the picture for your target market. In fact, it’s also these same highly effective web and social elements that help to score ideal media placements in the first place.

PR still works, it just works differently. And while it takes more work than it used to, the rewards of success are multiplied, thanks to the very game-changing technologies that we now must cater to. Do PR right, and your voice will reach millions. Do PR right, and your voice can change the world. 😇

This article was first published on Forbes.com