A lot has changed in the PR world in the last two decades. Gone are the days when PR used to be confined to just image building, media relations, television and radio coverage, press release dissemination, etc. All thanks to the emergence of the Internet, we are all breathing in the Information Age which seems to have opened up quite a lot of windows of opportunities for Public Relations. Now all there is left for the PR professionals is to get a good hold of the slightest of changes in trends and squeeze profit out of them.
Like in every other sector, trends change in the PR industry and it’s no news. With the ever evolving PR tools, PR professionals are now more often required to upgrade their knowledge and tactics to fit into the game. But the crucial part is that, one needs to be really keen in observing the changes happening in the PR universe. To keep your public relations strategy running smoothly and limit the chances of any block, it is highly recommended to keep checking on the current and fresh trends of the industry. So, let’s find out what could be the top emerging trends in public relations.
One of the biggest trends developing in PR is Real Time Marketing or reporting. This is the emerging process of leveraging events and using social media. PR professionals need to be on their toes and equipped for various situations and react to anything that may be happening.
Another most important change that has happened in public relations is that now brand promotion is more than just mindless shouting about the brands, instead it requires delivering value as well. Owing to this content marketing has now become the new ‘it’ thing in the PR world. After all, PR builds a positive image of the brand in the eyes of the audiences that matter most to you, and content marketing works in turning that reputation into revenue. To get the best result, the two need to be on the same page, and having a modern PR plan in place is crucial.
Dying Traditional Press Release Dissemination
The traditional practice of announcing news of a company through a Press Release has become outdated. No doubt, companies still use Press Releases as a means to spread their news but it is not only limited to that. Many agencies have started adopting newer and faster ways such as directly pitching to the journalist, or collaborating with a blogger to publish it. It has become a lot easier nowadays to publish news and information online and amplify it through social media. This helps in increasing the reach as well as engagement.
It is a widely accepted fact that displaying content through a Video creates not just a better understanding but also helps create a recall for your brand. A descriptive video or even slideshows can help in delivering the message in a more effective way. Also, people tend to prefer looking at a video on their phones rather than reading blogs/news through written content.
We cannot afford to ignore the ‘oh so overwhelming’ importance of Social Media in our daily lives. It is important to come up with new and innovative ways frequently to reach out to your audience. Influencer Engagement is one of the rising trends. It is the process of collaborating with influential people on social media to post about and promote your offerings. This can be either through an organic, barter or paid collaboration. Choosing the right type of influencers from the industry who have a high count of followers implying wider reach gives a great exposure.
Data Driven PR
The influence of PR has always casted a shadow of doubt in terms of measuring its sufficiency. PR is an essential tool for organisations as it helps in long term brand positioning. Using data analytics and other techniques the impact of PR can be measured in an effective way. Today, every organisation, in order to measure its PR efforts must establish a data driven matrix mechanism.
Artificial Intelligence is capable of performing much more than the basic activities of PR like research, analysis and media mapping. For instance, the lives of PR pros can be made a lot easier simply by using automatic audience targeting, or by introducing Chatbot technology.
Thought leadership is an emerging trend that has been seen building up among the senior executives/CEOs of the companies. The procedure involves the senior management publishing blogs, articles, views, etc. on various portals. Publishing such blogs on reputed portals like LinkedIn and Quora helps in increasing credibility of the leader as well as their company.
Over time, the overlap of PR and content marketing are proving a lot helpful in this field. Thought leadership is yet another remarkable example of the successful alignment of these two things. It’s time for PR teams to join hands with marketing to help key employees create content that builds their thought leadership and connects them to their audiences.
Demands for accountability will increase.
Consistent pitching is absolutely a part of the PR process. But if pitching emails to media contacts is all that is delivered at the end of the day, then it will get harder to demonstrate the value to clients and to stay competitive.
Tangible deliverables are what matters. It is of no use for the clients even if you pitched 200 reporters with no results. PR leaders need to work on taking into account increasing demands for accountability and develop processes that can deliver the actual results clients are seeking. With easier digital ROI to measure, this need for accountability will only keep growing.
It is an essential part of PR which is often ignored. Use of SEO in finding out relevant Keywords and integrating them into the content increases the chances of being featured on the first page Search Engine Results Page (SERP).