PR trends are like the GPS in our public relations vehicles. They show us what’s ahead and what to avoid when it comes to our public relations tactics. Where is PR headed? How can we stay on top of trends and deliver the best results to our business?
Public relations is an exciting industry — and part of that excitement stems from the fact that it is constantly on the move. PR constantly evolves as new products develop and new trends emerge.
Let’s look at 8 trends that will affect your public relations tactics, and how these can empower your business moving forward.
PR constantly evolves as new products develop and new trends emerge.
8 PR Trends That Will Impact Your Business This Year
Journalists Are More Careful Than Ever
Fake news has been top of mind this year, and has many on their toes. This trend means far-reaching consequences for news outlets and those who use them. Expect journalists to be extremely careful and diligent when it comes to the stories they publish. They are on heightened alert to triple-check all their facts and deliver a thoroughly vetted story to their audience — and avoid the fakes news stigma.
Your press releases should be written with this in mind. Provide facts and figures that give journalists a complete story — and one that they can confidently deliver to their audience.
2. Measurement is Poised to Bring Value
Companies want to see clear value in their public relations strategy. That means metrics need to be a number one PR priority.
In order to measure our PR efforts effectively, we need to have clear objectives. Sit down with your company’s C-level executives and determine how they define PR success.
Once you have clear objectives in mind, determine what areas to measure in order to deliver an accurate picture of how your PR strategy delivers results.
3. Third Party Research Is Essential
Do you want to make sure your pitch floats to the top of a journalist’s figurative pile? Third party research might be the key. As mentioned above, journalists are in a crunch to deliver stories with solid, irrefutable facts.
If the research and statistics originate from your company, journalists may hesitate to use it. Could this research be tainted? Is it 100% accurate? But when you use third party research from a recognizable and reputable company to support your claims, it removes any lingering doubts about your work.
4. Reputation Management Becomes Crucial
A flawless online reputation has become a “must-have” in the realm of business. Buyers are more vigilant than ever to vet the companies with which they do business. The bulk of this research is done online — they scour the internet for comments, review boards, and information that will help them make a wise decision.
With this level of scrutiny, businesses need to get in front of their online reputation. If you want to be a successful business, you can’t just put out fires as they happen. You need to consistently promote your online reputation from the beginning. This will render those negative comments and reviews powerless.
Buyers are more vigilant than ever to vet the companies with which they do business.
5. Live Video Explodes in Importance
Live video has shifted from being the new kid on the block, and is now the most popular kid in school in terms of PR content. We as a society have become super visual — and that preference has a major impact on a business’s PR strategy.
For instance, one report showed that 80% of brand audiences would rather watch live video from a brand than read a blog. That’s 80% of your audience that you could potentially miss out on by not embracing live video.
Live video is expected to become more important. This is one trend that you don’t want to miss out on.
6. Earned Media Fades in Importance
As news outlets continue to slash staff, many PR professionals find that the individuals they traditionally turned to for earned media are no longer there.
In some ways, earned media is fading into the background as other forms of PR content take center stage. That is what the Center for Public Relations at USC Annenberg has predicted for the future of earned content. More specifically, the USC Annenberg report predicts that agencies will reduce the use of earned media within the next five years.
In place of earned media, paid media seems poised to take on more prominence. Expect such media opportunities as social media advertising, influencer relations, and content amplification to become more of a priority in the future.
7. Digital Storytelling Develops More as a Tactic
The same report from the Center for Public Relations also points to digital storytelling as a trend that will grow in importance.
How can you incorporate digital storytelling into your PR content? You could tell the story of your company within your “About Us” section — with interesting stories of those who make your company the cool place it is. Your stories reach people on an emotional level.
Another way to incorporate storytelling is to show how your product or service changes lives. Interview a customer whose business has improved with your company’s help.
Such digital storytelling speaks to the thoughts and emotions of your audience. This strategy is becoming an essential trend to include in your public relations tactics.
8. The Way We Choose and Use Influencers Changes
Influencers are not a one-size-fits-all solution to your marketing woes. Influencer marketing has changed so much within the last few years, and it seems it is still evolving.
You don’t want an influencer who is in it just for the paycheck. You want someone who can truly and authentically advocate for your brand. You also need someone who connects with your audience and even brings a new audience to your content.
There are various factors to take into consideration when choosing an influencer. It’s not just about a number of followers they have. Look at social networks where your target audience is active. How much does an influencer’s audience engage with them? What kind of content do they bring to the table?
Key Points to Remember…
- Journalists are under a lot of pressure — make it easier for them with concrete facts and third-party research to back up your pitch.
- Reputation management becomes a crucial part of doing business going forward.
- Live videos becomes an integral part of marketing strategies.
- Influencer marketing evolves, and businesses become more particular about whom they use as influencers.
PR is an exciting and ever-changing industry. The constantly emerging trends that shape the industry is what makes our work exciting. We hope you enjoy delving into these PR trends — and opportunities — as much as we do!