The Evolution of PR: From Typewriters to Trends

Public relations (PR) has always been an essential aspect of business, shaping how organizations communicate with their audiences. From its early days to the modern digital era, PR has undergone significant transformations. Let’s look into how – and how you can use this information to see if PR is a relevant addition to your business strategy.

The Origins of Public Relations

The roots of public relations can be traced back to ancient civilizations, where rulers and leaders used carefully crafted messages – which they liked to refer to as propaganda – to maintain their image among their subjects. 

However, the formal practice of PR began in the early 20th century, with figures like Ivy Lee and Edward Bernays laying the foundational principles. They introduced strategies beyond mere publicity, emphasizing the importance of public opinion and mutual understanding between organizations and their audiences.

The Evolution of PR Strategies

The evolution of strategies by many public relations agencies over the years has been remarkable. 

Initially, PR efforts heavily relied on print media and personal relationships to disseminate information. But we’ve borne witness to just how different things are now. The advent of the internet and digital technologies has revolutionized how PR is practiced here in the Philippines and the world over!

Today, PR agencies in the Philippines leverage digital strategies to encompass various activities, including social media management, content marketing, and influencer collaborations. These tools have expanded the reach of PR campaigns so that businesses get direct and interactive communication with target audiences.

Case Studies: Successful PR Campaigns Through the Ages

Let’s hear the stories of successful PR campaigns of old: 

Pre- and post-war eras (the 1930s-1960s):  Earliest PR campaigns – PR in the Philippines can be traced back to the pre-war era when companies used press releases and media relations to build brand awareness. 

After World War II, PR campaigns took on a more social and civic role. Companies began to focus on projects that improved the lives of Filipinos and demonstrated corporate social responsibility.  An example is the San Miguel Corporation, which launched a nationwide campaign to promote community development projects in the 1950s. This campaign not only helped build goodwill for the company but also addressed social issues of the time. 

PR with a more advocating tone has laid the foundation for how modern PR is practiced.

Martial Law era (1970s-1980s):  Crisis communications – PR professionals faced the crisis communication challenge during the Marcos regime. Companies carefully managed their public image vis-a-vis government associations. Examples are the campaigns launched by businesses supporting the peaceful struggle against the dictatorship. These campaigns helped to maintain public trust and credibility during a difficult period in Philippine history.

Post-EDSA era (1980s-1990s):  Rise of consumerism – The end of Martial Law ushered in an era of consumerism. PR campaigns focused on promoting products and services to a growing middle class. An example is the campaign launched by Jollibee in the 1980s, which positioned  the fast food chain as the “home of the Pinoy hamburger.” This campaign helped make Jollibee a household name in the Philippines and the world.

Digital Age (2000s-present):  Social media and influencers – The rise of the internet has revolutionized PR. Today, social media and influencer marketing play a major role in successful campaigns. Check out our case studies on TikTok for modern brands!

As the media landscape continues to change, PR professionals will need to adapt their strategies to remain successful.

How We Pioneer Modern PR

NGP Integrated Marketing Communications stands at the forefront of modern PR, embracing the latest technologies and strategies to craft impactful campaigns. With a deep understanding of the digital landscape, NGP employs a holistic approach to PR, integrating traditional methods with innovative digital techniques. This blend ensures that their campaigns resonate with diverse audiences across various platforms.

We like to call this the NGP Way: Telling, Sharing, and Connecting Your Story.

Telling Your Story as We Adapt to Changing PR Landscapes

The ability to adapt to the rapidly changing PR landscape is a hallmark of NGP Integrated Marketing Communications. From purely PR, NGP has also adapted as a digital marketing agency, ensuring its strategies remain effective and relevant by staying abreast of emerging trends and technologies. Whether leveraging the latest social media platforms or incorporating data analytics into campaign planning, NGP Integrated Marketing Communications is committed to pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in PR.

The Role of Social Media in PR Evolution

Social media has fundamentally changed the game for public relations. Platforms like X, Facebook, and Instagram offer unique opportunities for brands to engage directly with their audience, receive instant feedback, and manage crises in real time. Effective social media PR campaigns can significantly enhance brand visibility and reputation, making social media an indispensable tool in the modern PR toolkit.

The Importance of Analytics in Modern PR

Introducing analytics into PR practice has transformed how success is measured. With tools like Google Analytics and social media insights, PR professionals can now precisely track their campaigns’ performance. This data-driven approach allows for more targeted strategies and demonstrates the tangible impact of PR efforts on business objectives.

Future Trends in Public Relations

Looking ahead, the PR field is set to evolve further with technological advancements. Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning are expected to automate routine tasks and personalize campaigns significantly. Additionally, virtual and augmented reality technologies offer new avenues for digital marketing services to include immersive storytelling, potentially revolutionizing how brands connect with their audiences.

NGP Integrated Marketing Communications and the Future of PR

As we move into the future, NGP Integrated Marketing Communications will continue to be in charge of innovative PR practices. The agency is actively exploring new technologies and methodologies to stay ahead of the curve. With a commitment to excellence and a forward-thinking approach, NGP Integrated Marketing Communications is poised to shape the future of public relations.

Final Thoughts

The evolution of public relations from its early days to the digital age represents a fascinating journey. NGP Integrated Marketing Communications has been a key player in this evolution, pioneering modern PR strategies that effectively bridge traditional methods and digital innovations.

As the PR landscape continues to change, adapting and innovating remains paramount. With agencies like NGP Integrated Marketing Communications leading the way, the future of PR and IMC agencies looks bright, promising even more effective ways to connect with and engage audiences worldwide.

Contact one of the best PR agencies in the Philippines, NGP-IMC, by clicking on this link today!

Harmony Adiao-Carrillo
Harmony Adiao-Carrillo is the editorial lead of NGP-IMC.