The internet has given us a lot. But I'd say the core outcome of the internet is communication. We can now communicate anytime, anywhere, and any way we want, with anyone. Communication will never be the same — and neither will the field of communications.

Joe Ciarallo is Senior Director of PR for Salesforce Marketing Cloud. Before that, he was VP of Communications at Buddy Media, and he's also a founding editor of PRNewser.

We invited Joe to the Marketing Cloudcast,  the marketing podcast from Salesforce,  to discuss how the internet has changed everything, the next big tools in reaching audiences, and the importance of content and social in the PR pro's arsenal.

The full episode is available on iTunesGoogle Play Music, or Stitcher. You can also take a listen here:

 From our conversation with Joe, here are six cool things PR has going for it in 2016.

1. The democratization of real-time reporting

Joe points out, “The internet changed everything. It made everyone a content creator. It gave everyone the ability to reach billions of people on their mobile devices every single day.” This fact changes everything about how best to approach your brand’s PR strategy. Although it adds to the already highly competitive nature of the space, it also means more opportunities for great content to reach your audience.

2. Influencer marketing

As Joe puts it, "Influencer marketing is very much a Wild West right now.” No matter your space, you can bet that there's a blogger, YouTuber, Instagrammer, prolific LinkedIn writer, or other influencer who wields authority with the audience you seek. The concept is still relatively new, so come up with an early strategy to dominate influencer relations. This will be an increasing responsibility of the PR pro.

3. Graphics and video 

News media has evolved alongside consumers. "Large publications and large media companies are producing content that fits into this mobile, social, always on world where things are in the feed. Content that's video- and image-based. Text still plays a role, but the ways we can tell stories are increasingly becoming more dynamic," Joe explains.

4. Social listening

PR professionals now benefit from a direct connection to their audience through the internet. They can use social media tools to hear their audience's comments, complaints, and interests and develop media strategies accordingly. According to Joe, “Ten years ago a PR professional wouldn’t  dream of having this kind of opportunity to listen and really understand before you engage.” You can listen to social sentiment on just about any topic, so use that to your advantage.

5. Livestreaming

In the coming months, watch for livestreaming apps like Periscope and Facebook Live to become more competitive. Even Disney has Facebook Live fever. Watch the Salesforce Facebook page for live news, interviews, and fun behind the scenes at our events. For PR teams, this means another way to share content quickly.

6. Content marketing

In an age of adblocking and diminishing publisher reach (seen the latest algorithm update on Facebook?), valuable content marketing is the antidote. As Jay Baer says, the goal is to make content so useful people would pay for it. Joe advises PR pros to “put yourself in the shoes of that journalist, put yourself in the shoes of your customer. What are they having issues with? What are they asking us to address for them? And then reverse-engineer your content to address those kind of questions.” 

And that’s just scratching the surface of our conversation with Joe Ciarallo (@joeciarallo). Get the full scoop from one of the industry's top PR professionals in this episode of the Marketing Cloudcast.

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