In our current series about the influence of social and digital media in their daily PR work the GCPR Blog team talked to Jacques Lechat, managing partner of GlobalCom PR Network’s partner agency PRP in Belgium.*
1. What status do social and digital media have in your daily PR work?
In Belgium, social media is currently only used marginally in the lifestyle, transport, and tourism industries as well as in the B2B press relations. Facebook is used by some of our clients in the lifestyle and tourism sectors. But we are not actively involved in these social media activities. We are represented on Facebook and Twitter but more as a way of receiving news, than to disseminate news for our clients. Except for the launch of some new products with buzz effects and YouTube films, the Belgian PR world is not yet actively using the social media to communicate.
Digital media, on the contrary, are used every day and have already taken over a big part of the market. Specialized online media for topics such as wine, tourism, medical, transport, etc., are already outnumbering the print media. Our activities integrate this new trend. We are also posting more pictures, YouTube films etc. in order to be able to respond more efficiently to the format of these new digital media. Their flexibility and speed is also a very positive aspect for our activities. Clients can get first clippings a few minutes after sending out a press release!
2. Do you use social networking in your PR and communications work?
Social networking is useful to stay in contact with clients and influencers. It’s also used by us as a good information source about prospects or stakeholders.
3. What would you see as most recent innovation in the field of PR?
Locally the importance of video (YouTube format) has gained importance within the last 12 months. We are following this trend but the technical aspects (costs, quality etc.) still need to be better controlled. It is more and more required to direct our activities to the Benelux market and not only to Belgium. International clients are looking for agencies able to cover the whole region. PR Consult’s strategy is to answer these demands, directly with our own consultants, or depending of the specific requirements, with adhoc partnership with Dutch colleagues. We have many contacts in the Netherlands and are able to provide the most appropriate partner.
*The series is based on phone or face-to-face interviews and written input, therefore please excuse language mistakes which might reflect foreign language influences.