An Unanticipated Realization

There was built up excitement as I was in my car on the way to the Bright Shawl for the August luncheon. Knowing that the professional presentation topic was on “pitching to the digital world,” I was ready to engage in the presentation. A topic like this is vital for my understanding and learning experience as a student.

My school books constantly reinforce the effectiveness of the press release and good relations with local news reporters. As a pupil of the new generation it is hard for me to grasp just how effective these “old school” public relations tactics can be. And so I walked through the doors expecting to have my views on the unquestionable effectiveness of digital pitching reinforced and learn how to better equip myself to do just that.

Not only were my expectations met, but speaker James Aldrix, Digital Editor of the San Antonio Business Journal, detailed that old school PR is still vital for client coverage. Here’s where I’m coming from: I worked at a PR division office in town for an ad agency based out of another city for the past eight months. My boss’ daily communication with coworkers was over the phone, email and skype. Telecommunications is a significant factor of the company’s culture. Also, I am the sole reason for greatly increasing the engagement on a client’s social media outreach (Sorry, don’t have the stats on that just right now!). All of this new tech hub bub can cloud a person’s thoughts when it comes to recognizing that older PR methods still have relevance today.

And so I stopped to think. At my internship, we sent out mailers for a big client of ours; we’re working on a direct mail campaign for another really big client of ours; and we’ve done press releases for a trade show that another client was involved in. When I took a step back, I was able to confirm Mr. Aldrix’s message. It was also good to hear him explain that the pinstripe model is in effect not only at the San Antonio Business Journal, but also for most of the printing world as well. This way, the new digital PR realm and the old way of practicing PR are both satisfied.

In summary, I anticipated learning more about what I thought I already knew. The truth is, there was a bigger message that I learned at the August luncheon. The past hasn’t been boxed away and placed in a dusty corner of the attic. Old PR approaches are still relevant and have a long way to go until they have run their course.

New age techniques require a greater precedence, as the new generation obtains information in a different way than previous generations did before them. However, the pinstripe model that Mr. Aldrix spoke of strives to make the best of these two different PR realms by first printing and then digitizing. I’d say that the pinstripe model could define this era’s PR approach, and it’s something I am looking forward to refining once I get well on my way after graduation in the near future.

By Rachel Browne
• UTSA student • PRSSA •


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