PR is a broad concept. We are talking about ‘public relations’, building a relationship with your target audience. Another approach in the PR world is that other P – of press. Everyone is talking non-stop about the changing media landscape, but what is actually going on with ‘the media’? Without getting into too much detail on each case individually, we see three major trends.

Trend 1: the media are becoming communities

Whether we are talking daily papers or magazines, radio or TV, media are still being published – to a greater or lesser extent – in their traditional form. But in addition, they are taking on an important connecting role. From the StuBru listener who tweets his #draaitdoor number every afternoon, via the HR professional who reads on Wiskeys.be what his peers are up to, to the Trends reader who is skimming through the many lunches, debates and award ceremonies: they are all connected by a community which is linked to a medium. So the role of the medium is clearly changing: as well as informing the right people, it also aims increasingly to connect the right people. Which is rather important for a PR professional, because the communities form an additional channel in the PESO-mix.

Trend 2: the journalist is becoming the brand

VranckxFaroek. Or across the border: Witteman. Journalists, and not the medium for which they work, are becoming the brand. That applies to famous faces like Rudi Vranckx and Faroek Özgünes, but it goes beyond that. For example, Isabel Alberns is the go-to person for everything connected with the Belgian business world, Frederik Tibau comes to the fore if you want to know about start-ups, and you should seek out Veerle Beel for anything concerning children and bringing them up. If these kind of initiatives by De Standaard is to be believed, you can take that very literally. Conclusion: PR is becoming more than ever a matter of establishing the right relationship with the right person.

Trend 3: Your opinion matters. And yours. And so does yours.

Not that long ago, I approached a Dutch journalist with an (of course) unmissable interview proposal. Answer: it seems interesting, but I don’t have time. Can you write the article yourself? Come again?

In the end, I did write it myself, and it was reviewed by the editorial team and published. Meaning: if you have something interesting to say, just find the right platform. Whether that is via an interview with one of those busy brands above, via a (ghost-written) article or via a partnership with a publication. The media are becoming ever more transparent. Data News and Computable even ask for the opinion of experts. The VRT works with #StraffeMadammen to find female specialists with outspoken views, or gives young people the chance to collaborate actively on new platforms, via #OpenVRT.

PR boring? Never.

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