IN THE MIDDLE | beyond the job description

Going Beyond the Job Description: Digital Public Relations

By Alyanna Silvestre
Published May 07, 2021

Digital public relations is perceived to be all about freebies, events, product launches, and reputation management. But behind it is the dozens of pitched stories for different industries and brands and the importance of building and maintaining relationships with business networks and customers.

To give an overview of what it's like to be a PR professional in this digital age, we break down some of the highlights of another career myth debunking episode of "Job Defined" where Cat Triviño, an esteemed PR practitioner who is currently the Chief Marketing Officer of MindNation, takes a deep dive into the art of reshaping one’s understanding of the public’s concerns into appealing stories to capture the interest of consumers and build customer loyalty.

Deep Connection through Deep Understanding

People often think that a profession linked to a degree in communications is better suited for individuals with an outgoing personality. Being an introvert herself who has managed to excel and continue to thrive in her line of career, Triviño easily disproved this misconception.

Being an introvert or an extrovert doesn't really matter in digital PR because it’s more about the thirst for knowledge on the "twist and turns" of different businesses and the ability to build good connections with diverse consumers and fellow professionals from various industries.

As long as one understands what makes consumers tick or how the public makes decisions, delivering the right message through the right platform to pique the minds of the right consumers will be achievable.

Lacking such an understanding of consumers may render a PR practitioner ineffective as he or she will find it difficult to penetrate the consumers' way of thinking to instill a change of mindset in favor of a brand or company. Meanwhile, without a deep understanding of a brand or an industry, a PR professional will not be able to execute a campaign that truly reflects the values of the client.

Growth Mindset

According to Triviño, whether it's traditional or digital, PR is like aiming at a moving target. It’s subject to constant change, so it's important to have a growth or an "always-on" mindset.

PR is heavily impacted by changes in algorithms, consumer preferences, and popular events that go from viral to "a thing of the past." With this, having a growth mindset will allow a PR practitioner to constantly learn, keep up with such shifts, maximize new platforms and technologies, and recognize new trends and opportunities.

A growth mindset is also necessary to fuel one's creativity to come up with innovative ideas and stories that highlight the brand's values and resonate with the consumers.

Crisis Management

Just like other careers, PR involves crises and emergencies that beg to be understood rather than just solved.

While the saying that bad publicity is still publicity, a negative press still needs to be dealt with. When one thing goes wrong, say with the reputation of a brand or a project, a PR practitioner must not only gather facts and opinions from all sides, such as the company, the customer, and the industry experts but also evaluate and understand the points of view and concerns of each to craft a statement with the best possible angle or a visual presentation that speaks volumes to impact the target's perception.

Can Be Anyone's Cup of Tea

Among the many misconceptions about PR is that before starting your career in the industry, you must have a communications degree. This was also sternly debunked by Triviño, saying that while having an educational background in media will do some good, the ultimate requirement is, again, a deep understanding of the interests and concerns of the company and the people.

Want more? Check out the "Job Defined" interview here and listen to Cat Triviño as she shares the highs and lows of digital PR.

“Job Defined” is hosted by Mr. Patt Soyao and powered by Podcast Network Asia. For more information, visit the series’ official Facebook page here.