The Evolution Of PR: From Information Provider To Trusted Partner

Founded by Ludivine Plessy, Keep Contact is a member of the National Union of Press Officers and Public Relations Advisors (Photo © Keep Contact)

Some have predicted the end of press and public relations as social networks are taking hold. What use are such intermediaries when companies can exchange directly with their potential customers and the journalists likely to relay their information? Yet the profession is still active. Better still, it has been able to evolve to position itself as a partner of journalists.

Not so long ago, barely 20 years ago, the greatest asset of a PR agency such as Keep Contact was its people skills and, more specifically, its “journalistic” address book. It was worth its weight in gold. It was the ultimate assurance that press releases and other invitations would be received by the right people.

A phone call or a cup of coffee would then allow us to exchange ideas and convince the journalist of the value of sharing the news or attending a client’s press conference and even to obtain an exclusive interview. This well-rehearsed dance worked out great until digital technology got in the way.

Between databases and social networks, our precious address books became more easily accessible while the means to get in touch with the press multiplied. Was this the end of old-fashioned PR? Some people thought so. But no, PR is still here and it’s actually doing rather well.

New missions

Agencies have learned to master the technology and subtleties of community management to fully exploit the possibilities offered by digital communication and information. As far as we are concerned, we have even gone a step further in exploration and experimentation as confirmed by the development of our artificial intelligence tool Saaskia™ that engages in e-watching and e-monitoring. Thanks to it, we are able to precisely measure the relevance and impact of the strategies we deploy for the benefit of our clients. You know it well, the famous ROI!

Our profession is still active because we have also been able to rethink our missions with our main interlocutors: journalists. And this by moving from the status of information provider to that of trusted partner.

How do we do this? By delivering validated information, by providing illustrations, images and other quality videos, by ensuring rapid connections, by generating added value by sharing expertise and proven intelligence on issues. And this while the tasks of journalists have diversified in order to feed the various channels and networks now used by the press. Often in a hurry, they have to check the information, format it, illustrate it, computerize it, share it, and comment on it.

“What makes an agency specialized in press and public relations like Keep Contact so rich today is its ethics.”

Ludivine Plessy

Ethics and values

Of course, we are still committed to a “win-win” approach. We continue to act for the benefit of our clients who communicate for very specific objectives: to gain visibility, to ensure the launch of a product and to enhance their brand image.

But there is no question of doing just anything – our clients know this. To capture the spotlight today, the information (expertise, innovation, etc.) they wish to share must be solid, transparent and honest.

If the content is based on fluff or proves to be misleading, social networks will quickly bury it, or worse, denounce it. We have responsibilities in this area and we take them. If a company invites us to sit on our requirements and our values, to better orchestrate the staging of a nice “fake news”, then it will simply do without our expertise.

Keep Contact is a member of the National Union of Press Officers and Public Relations Advisors (SYNAP) and as such, respects a code of ethics that particularly insists on “increased vigilance regarding the fair and loyal nature of the information disseminated in a context of multiplication of sources and channels of information”.

“I am deeply convinced, what makes the wealth of an agency specialized in press and public relations like Keep Contact, is its ethics,” says CEO Ludivine Plessy.

Keep Contact, Fresh Content Agency

Founded by Ludivine Plessy, Keep Contact is an independent agency established for nearly 15 years in Luxembourg. The agency supports its clients in many areas such as sensitive communication or crisis communication, press and public relations, media intelligence with Saaskia™, communication consulting, digital strategy and fresh content creation.

Digitizing Media Monitoring With Saaskia™

Based on IBM’s Watson artificial intelligence technologies, the Dudelange-based communication agency offers a global e-monitoring strategy for information flows (written, visual, audio, offline and online) distributed by print, radio, TV, Web and social media.

The solution is aimed at companies based in Luxembourg and the Greater Region, regardless of their size or sector of activity.

Improving decision-making

“The difficulty today for companies is not to be informed but to collect information flows in order to extract the most relevant information, with the aim of generating added value and accelerating decision making,” explains Ludivine Plessy, founder and director of Keep Contact.

Saaskia™ positions itself as an accelerator of economic intelligence: “Our ambition is to offer strategic and highly effective artificial intelligence tools adapted to the organization and internal functioning of our clients, to enable them to better understand their environment and make the right decisions,” adds Plessy.

Editor’s note: This article is brought to you by Keep Contact and reflects only the opinion of the author.

This article was first published in Silicon Luxembourg magazine. Get your copy.

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