Does public relations and communications need a new concept of ‘Inbound PR’?
‘Yes’ is the resounding answer from Iliyana Stareva in her new book ‘Inbound PR’, This is an essential read for any forward-thinking Comms and PR professional, and a huge wake up call to a PR industry facing a tsunami of change.
You don’t read this book. You breeze through it. It’s full of profound overviews of the challenges we face coupled with process how-to steps that whisk you from theory to practice, and before you know it, you’re an Inbound PR expert.
Inbound PR is a means of identifying and understanding an audience or public and using its content to start a conversation to build relationships based on meeting a need rather than creating a need. As a result, you build relationships, trust and influence.
It’s all stress-tested from Iliyana’s extensive experience. She bridges thought leadership and thought doing through her work as Global Partner Program Manager at Hubspot. Practising what she preaches, Iliyana has collected her insight, tools and processes in a book.
She argues there are two main reasons why ‘inbound’ is the perfect fit for PR:
- PR people excel at content creation
- PR people suck at measurement (her words)
The digital revolution is posited as the gamechanger, where she pleas for, “PR to reinvent itself. PR needs to change the widespread perception that it’s just about media relations. It needs to show that it’s able to grow, adapt, and adjust for the digital economy and show sustainable results. Because if PR continues to stick with the conventional way of thinking, it’s not going to be relevant or important.” If we don’t adapt, like the dinosaur, Iliyana argues, PR will die.
One critical quality of this book is its publication date: 2018. Most PR texts suffer from being written pre the digital revolution, with incremental updates covering subsequent developments. Written post digital revolution ‘Inbound PR’ frames the PR the challenges from the new world of the post digital paradigm.
The major difference between ‘old school’ and ‘new school’ is with ‘pull’ rather than ‘push’ at the heart of this new era. Outbound communications interrupts, inbound attracts, converts, closes and delights – all within a measurable framework.
Iliyana doesn’t just proselytise. Her book is packed with practical how-to tips, processes and strategies. It’s a Bible for a new age of PR and Comms combined with a practical, how-to in easy steps guide, all in one volume.
She concludes with an appeal to public relations and communications professionals: “Inbound PR can be your wake-up call. It involves a mindset change that will allow PR to reinvent itself. It’s all about changing how we see and do things to stay fit for the future.”
The book sets in motion the need for the PR and communications industry to start rethinking about its definitions, role and practice. Are you going to wake up to the challenge?