So what trends can we expect to dominate the PR industry this year? Here are five PR trends that should be on your radar:
Identifying and engaging consumers with the right message is becoming increasingly challenging. However, one strategy that continues to gain momentum is influencer marketing.With more brands jumping on the influencer marketing trend, it’s becoming the fastest-growing online customer-acquisition method and it’s now reported that 70% of teenagers actually trust influencer’s more than traditional celebrities. An influencer can be any individual with a large social media following who, due to their authentic relationship with their followers, has a proven track record of influencing the purchase decisions of others.
PR relies heavily on content and storytelling to engage with audiences, and that’s exactly what influencer marketing does. The results from these collaborations can drive engagement, increase consumer trust and build brand interest. However, consumer protection law now states that influencers must make it clear if they have been paid for a post, or gifted an item or experience in exchange for a promotional post. Whilst this won’t necessarily put people off the item or experience, it’s important to go with an influencer who remains true to their style so the post appears authentic to their followers.
The lines between PR and marketing are blurring. News stories are no longer reserved for tabloids and the 10 o’clock news. If you want your story to reach a wider audience, you need to get it on as many (relevant) channels as possible. Having a team of PR, social media and content professionals working for you in harmony is the best way to do just that. You’ll drive engagement and increase your search engine ranking in no time.
According to Campaign Monitor, the average attention span is now as low as eight seconds (that’s worse than a goldfish!) and whilst that number will likely vary between age groups and other demographics, we know people are generally interested in short, sharp content.
Micro video content is essentially short videos which can be shared on social media. With so much content readily available and multiple news outlets to choose from, you know you only have a few seconds to grab the audience’s attention before they scroll on. There are a couple of basic things to remember when creating this type of content; use subtitles and ensure they’re legible when viewed on a mobile device.
If you think PR is too traditional to take on the benefits of AI, think again. AI can transcribe and translate conversations, monitor digital media and compile coverage reports in a matter of seconds. There are PR tools out there to specifically target journalists, bloggers and influencers, but there’s still a need to have a personal relationship with those individuals to strike up a partnership and get coverage.
Tools such as predictive analytics can also estimate the type of content that will resonate with your audience, based on previous data, in a fast and reliable way. Which is good news for PR teams, as it means that they can quickly learn more about what content makes your target market tick.
The increase of fake news stories and media hoaxes are leaving consumers increasingly doubtful about which media outlets they can trust. There have been so many stories covered nationally that have turned out to be false (just look at The Momo Challenge). Edelman stated that for the first time, media is the least trusted institution globally. So how exactly do you counteract that?
PR leaders need to retain their credibility and ensure that building trust with their consumers is a fundamental goal. PR professionals must guarantee that stories provide valuable, meaningful insight and are thoroughly researched. This will help strengthen the relationship between brand and consumer and, most importantly build trust.