For the public relations industry, writing press releases is no longer enough. With the emergence of so-called “people orientation technology” or what some call Web 2.0, which “allows users to interact and collaborate with each other through social media dialogue as creators of user-generated content in a virtual community,” these innovations and new technologies require the PR industry to be even more adaptable and cognizant of emerging trends.
James Cummings, an experienced digital media expert, writer and business psychologist, writes, “PR is an important unit in every business. It supersedes enhancing a brand’s reputation, and has transcended into connecting emotionally with the public. For your brand to grow, it is important to stay on top of the digital trends. The Global Communications Report reveals that the PR industry will grow tremendously in the next 5 years — with certain trends accelerating the growth.”
In his article, “6 PR trends every business needs to incorporate in 2019,” on www.publicrelationstoday.com, Cummings identifies six trends that will give your brand an edge.
1. Humanizing your brand
Humanizing a brand has been embraced by PR pro for a long time. However, this trend has intensified. Giving your brand human attributes is a vital way of growing it. You humanize your brand by associating it with a particular human problem that can solved, and a human face.
Aim for a simpler, down-to-earth and emotional way to connect. More than just building a connection, your brand should show empathy. It should be portrayed in the light that it understands what the public is feeling. For example, you use social media to understand how pregnant women feel, so you can produce comfortable and inexpensive clothing for them.
Also, create a home where you can reach your audience. This should be your social media space and website. Create contents that are consistent with what you brand stands for. Show off the team behind the brand and how they connect with the product. This will spur people to show sentiments towards your brand.
2. More micro-video content
If you followed the trends in 2018, you will notice an emergence of micro-video contents. Studies shows that the human brain can process a full image in 13 milliseconds — less than it takes for you to blink.
Now you wonder why people are receptive to images. Visual contents creates a deep connection between a brand and the public. The shorter the video, the more appealing and attention-worthy it is. There’s a high probability that your audience will spend more time watching a video, than they would reading through texts.
Videos also make your website 53 times more visible than websites without them. Needless to say that it’s best to leverage on this trend. As it would continue to capture the attention of the public for a long time.
3. Transparency and authenticity
The digital frenzy has made people distrustful of the media. Because of this mistrust and surge of fake news, people are craving for more transparency. Consumers tend to rely on organizations that are sincere. Organizations that do not hide their vulnerabilities and offer data, strategies and facts about their processes. You don’t have to be excessive. Showing the public some elements of your product/service helps them ease into it.
As journalists try to gain the trust of the public, PR pro should endeavor to work with the right media. Campaigns, content, and press releases should be issued constantly to handle their brand’s reputation.
4. Content is key
According to Brendan at www.discountdomains.co.nz, a good story is more appealing than a great argument. More than ever, the public is tilting towards more emotional narratives. PR is changing, but its core value still remains the same. No matter the platform being used, a story with a soul is important.
A PR pro should create original and unique contents that connects to the public. A good story is useless if it’s not seen. PR pros need should partner with websites creators and content syndicators to make their business visible to the right audience and to connect with customers.
5. Social media and influencers remain significant
Social media continues to play a crucial role in many businesses today. Social media has given consumers a voice which you must not neglect. An observation from a hostile customer can tarnish the reputation of your brand. You have to secure your company’s reputation offline and online.
Take the pain to check facts and handle clients on social media. Respond to real-time queries promptly. Use social media management tools to organize social media contents. PR pros should use social media to start trends that helps their brand. As a PR pro, your social media space should not exist in a vacuum. You should lend a voice to stories that will paint your brands positively.
Most influencers have their space on social media. By leveraging on them, you give your brand emotions that extend to your audience. 2019 saw the integration of brands and influencers. This trend will continue for a long time. Earning the attention and trust of influencers either through paid means or organically is good for your product.
This trend is still immature. But the longer you wait, the harder and more expensive it will be to get the attention of the right influencers. Start building the relationship as soon as possible.
6. Integration of marketing and PR
The primary goal of marketing is to boost sales through brand visibility. While PR centers on managing a company’s reputation by fostering bonds. However, the line between marketing and PR is becoming blur.
Both industries overlap, mainly because PR is tilting towards digitalization. Just like digital marketing, PR experts now use SEO, social media, link acquisitions and blogs to foster bonds with the hope of generating leads and boosting brand ranking.
This link is also essential for consistency. PR will also cooperate with human resources and compliance departments.
These are not the only trends that will influence the industry. Virtual Reality, Artificial Intelligence and thought leadership are trends you should keep up with. To help you brand thrive, it is essential to flow with these trends and integrate them into your strategy. How well is your brand implementing these trends?