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Wednesday, December 7, 2022
HomeLifestylePublic affairs in 2022: Q&A with Norris Clark

Public affairs in 2022: Q&A with Norris Clark

Norris Clark
Managing partner
Princeton Strategic Communications

Q: In an age when anyone, anywhere, at any time can disseminate information, how can a modern-day public affairs or public relations firm break through the noise and deliver the message of its clients to the masses? 

Norris Clark (Princeton Strategic Communications): We now see brands as communities based on a shared set of stories, and it’s the job of public relations/public affairs firms to act as honest and authoritative ‘brand journalists,’ capturing and communicating the brand’s authentic story to its audiences. Rather than interrupting people with sales rhetoric and manipulative offers, communicators must engage and entertain people with their real stories that explain why the organization exists, stories involving relatable characters seeking to overcome life’s challenges to make a better world. 

Q: What are you doing now that you may not have been doing one, three, five years ago?

Norris Clark (Princeton Strategic Communications): Communicators must now curate their own stories that illustrate the ‘why’ before the ‘how’ and the ‘what.’ Rather than repeat ‘value propositions’ and regurgitate ‘key messages.’ We press communicators to explain the ‘why’ through a story, which always involves setup, conflict and resolution.

Q: What is your best sales pitch to a potential client who currently is not using a PR/PA firm?

Norris Clark (Princeton Strategic Communications): Most organizations find the need for an outside agency to supplement their internal team, helping to expertly capture the compelling story and get it out quickly to the various media — so they reach the right people at the right time and in the right way. 

 

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