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Thinking Critically with Robyn Stevens

By February 27, 2020Interviews

As owner of PR Media, a full-service public relations agency located in Philadelphia/New York area, Publicist Robyn Stevens has created innovative media and marketing strategies with her extensive industry knowledge and connections.

We spoke to her about her views on public relations strategies and where she sees it heading in the future.

Can you tell us a little about your background and how you got to where you are now?

After 15 years working on air in the Philadelphia market, I decided to utilize my experience in the media industry to help obtain major media placements for spokespeople and brands. My experience working in the industry has given me insights and enabled me to create highly innovative media and marketing strategies that dramatically raise brand awareness and value. I’m still great friends with many TV producers and digital editors which helps me with developing new media strategies. Most recently I have developed original TV shows for my clients that are airing in the New York TV market and a business show that airs nationally.

How did you use your experience as a reporter to your advantage in PR?

My years’ experience as a reporter has taught me a very important thing – people want to content that is relatable and solution based. I always remind clients it’s about storytelling. Telling a story – sharing your experiences and giving examples- allows viewers to experience emotions, which will make you memorable (think about the Google Ad in Super Bowl LIV). Much like journalism, you must let the viewer/reader know straight away how this affects them and what types of solutions you can share. One thing to remember: when the audience thinks and feels you’ve grabbed their attention.

How is PR different than it was 5 years ago?

In the past brands/companies controlled the message and that message could be strategically placed in the media. We know now that influencers and brands need to join in the conversation with a true authentic voice. Staying consistent in the media is key. Much of PR today is about leverage. You can be on a national TV morning show but without leveraging that media opportunity through social media and brand building strategy the impact will be small. I think spokespeople/brand now look at PR as having a collective ongoing impact.

How have you adjusted to the rise of social media in PR in recent years?

The rise of social media shortened the lifespan of a new story. With the lifespan being shorter, leveraging the media opportunity is more critical than ever before. Being fashionably late in world of social media just doesn’t work. One crucial reminder is that due to the incredible power of social media it is essential to remind brands and spokespeople of the need to manage their online voice and reputation. Building a brand community and/or family on social media is now just as important as obtaining an interview in national magazine.

What is the #1 thing you try to express to new clients when you bring them on board?

Be You! Talk about your passion and be true to your niche. You can’t be an expert at everything, and you can’t be all things to everyone. Some of the best PR opportunities come from ongoing visibility as opposed to one big splash. Building up relationships and networking can become a huge win. I also remind clients it isn’t always about the number of viewers or subscribers but being in the correct outlets can that lead to keynote speaking engagements and becoming a regular TV and/or print contributor or having your own TV talk show.

Where do you see PR going in the next five years?

One thing that will become paramount is to make sure that you are heard! Currently, on Twitter there are something like 6,000 tweets/second. Having ongoing visibility will increase the likelihood that customers and clients will find you in their search. The use of “hyper-focused” pitches will be helpful as well – finding the appropriate media connections and pitch one or two producer/editors at the most you with which you connect. Articles will get shorter and video will remain king. Longform quality journalism will still be valued, however the “bite size ” solution-based articles will continue to dominate the media.
Until next time!

Critical Mention
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Priscilla Osorio

Priscilla is the marketing coordinator for Critical Mention. Early on in her career, she developed a passion for marketing, writing and anything within the communication field. During her leisure time, she loves to watch her favorite sports teams and explore new restaurants with friends and family.