MCS PR AND ITS HISTORY
A couple of weeks ago, my cellphone subscription expired. That often means choosing a new phone. That can be lots of fun, but it’s not something you do lightly, of course. There are so many models. And each one is different, with a whole range of useful functions. As I was looking into what they’re capable of now, I was reminded of all the cellphones I’ve used in the past fifteen years. That makes you realize just how much things have changed in a relatively short time. Better functions, higher speeds, extra features… And the same thing applies to MCS PR. Our approach from 23 years ago is almost unrecognizable compared with the way we serve our clients today.
From press relations to multimedia approach
When MCS PR (then just MCS) was founded by Perlita Fränkel, Peter de Groot, and Robert de Moll in 1992, PR was mainly about “press relations.” There were piles of press releases to be sent out each week by mail, or even fax. But not e-mail, of course: That was still unavailable to most people. And there were a lot of calls to journalists, to interest them in interviews, product reviews, and other “free publicity.” Regular phone calls, that is – not cellphone calls. Only a few high-flyers had one of those expensive new devices, in the car. We made our calls on old-fashioned landlines. Fortunately for us, by now the traditional dial had already been replaced with push buttons. The phone was a lifeline for MCS. In those days, PR was still all about “transmission”: sending our messages about products and services out to the media in the hope they would write something. The company, our client, and how special its product was, was the starting point.
And now, in 2015? What a world of difference -in mobile telephony as much as in the way MCS PR works. Our cellphones have long been used for much more than making calls. They have become smartphones, multi-talented communication devices. We use them almost continuously for apps, e-mail, Skype, Twitter, Facebook, photography, browsing, and sometimes even still for texting. There seems to be no limit to the ways we can communicate with today’s phones.
Company as a medium
The same can be said of the way MCS now supports its clients in communications. Public relations has become a multidisciplinary profession. No longer do we advise our clients to work from their own propositions. Instead, we advise them to respond to the challenges facing their target markets, to hook into the opportunities these present, and to provide a clear perspective on relevant current developments. Of course we still issue press releases. But these days they are multimedia presentations featuring photographs, infographics, links to videos and social media updates, and much more. Even more importantly, nowadays every company is its own medium. In fact, any organization can become a publisher and enter into a direct relationship with its stakeholders. Through blogs, content marketing, and other “owned media,” we help our clients to present themselves in a distinctive manner, one that usually revolves around vision, engagement, and showcasing expertise.
With the old office phone line of the early 1990s, you were really only contactable during traditional hours: nine to five, Monday to Friday. Those days are over. More than ever before, MCS PR is now available 24/7. In today’s digitized and globalized world, the news doesn’t stop as the end of the day approaches. Journalists need information instantly if they are to break stories or meet their deadlines. And if quick action is required, clients want to talk about it straight away, no matter what time it is.
We have developed a kind of personal relationship with our cellphone. We panic if it is out of reach or off network. Mobile banking, maps and route planners, looking up client information, closing deals…these days we do everything on that one personal device, in our favorite color and with the functions we select to enrich and simplify our working and personal lives. Again, the same applies to MCS. There is no such thing as “one size fits all” anymore. Every client, every journalist, and every other influential receives personal service.
The cellphone is also the first thing we reach for in times of crisis, whether to call emergency services or to contact family and friends fast. As a PR agency, of course MCS has a lot of experience with supporting clients in emergency or crisis situations. In fact, the same goes for the media we are in contact with on a daily basis. It is not unusual for journalists to call for our help in their search for stories. Even publishers ask us for media advice.
Change is the only constant
Looking back at the cellphones of five, ten, or fifteen years ago, it is hard not to laugh at their primitive functionality. Yet they were incredibly useful even then. We couldn’t do without them. Possibilities, needs, and opportunities in the field of communications are still developing. Who knows what might happen next? In a couple of years our smartphones could be superseded by some new device. What will be the next version of Facebook and Twitter? MCS PR is constantly looking for new ways to give its clients a distinctive, high-impact voice in today’s media landscape. A few years from now, MCS PR could be doing things very differently as well. But one thing is certain: While MCS may be changing all the time, we will always remain a constant and reliable partner.