One of the most significant changes to have happened in public relations, over the years, is a shift from one-sided communication (as in banners and ads), to giving the audience a chance to connect with the brand in meaningful ways. PR today is more about educating, engaging, and delivering value to the audience as well as the client. A key determinant of a successful business venture—apart from its vision and plan of action—is its public relations strategy, and the recent years have given us remarkable illustrations of effective PR at work.
Let’s take a look at the top 5 public relations trends of 2019.
Data—big and small: Over the last couple of years, data has firmly presented itself as a highly reliable parameter to create an effective public relations strategy. For a brand to tell a compelling story to its target audience, data must be collected extensively and analyzed in great detail. Only then can you count on reaching out to the audience in a way that resonates and is remembered.
Personalized pitching: As brands begin to work with both big and small data, the nature of pitching also changes. Mass emailing rarely work anymore, because there’s an excess of it out there. If you want to be noticed, you have to take your time getting to know your audience (research is vital), and then spend time drafting a compelling, personalized pitch.
Micro-influencers: Yes, influences have been significant and vital in recent years. However, the real game-changers today are the micro-influencers. With around 30-50k followers, these creative agents have a more genuine connection with their audience, and channeling your brand publicity through them lends it an authentic feel and gives it a noteworthy boost. As long as there is no real way to measure returns on investment every time you work with an influencer, you can focus on two things—pick someone who might genuinely resonate with your brand, and identify influencers with a smaller but more engaged audience.
Analytics—the numbers game: Not until very long ago, good public relations strategy wasn’t much more than beautifully designed and well-crafted advertisements. However, in recent years, it has been all about the numbers game. Coming back to data yet again, analytics has left little to be guessed when it comes to reaching out effectively to the right audience. From driving website traffic to social media visibility, everything is (as it must be) the result of effective number crunching. So, make use of data analytics as much as you can.
Content strategy: Content strategy is the discipline responsible for satisfying business requirements through content creation and distribution. The content strategist identifies those business interests that will be satisfied through content and designs a plan for creating and distributing such content. The specifics of the role will depend on the business interests and the proposed strategy. You need to know whether your content strategy is solving the business problems you’re hoping to solve. That could mean managing a team or understanding the data that indicate success for your program. It could also mean maintaining an inventory of content so that the organization understands its content assets. In this day and age, it is almost impossible for a brand to succeed without a clear and compelling content strategy. Publicity is no longer restricted to traditional media, but now largely depends on social media platforms like Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and blogs. For each of these platforms, it’s imperative for your brand to have a relevant and reliable content strategy that will drive engagement.
A compelling narrative, sound ethics, solid content strategy and heavy reliance on data, will remain the dominant trends in public relation agencies this year and in the time to come. The sooner your brand shifts from depending on traditional media to start counting on the power of social media, personalized pitching, and influencer marketing, the better it will be present itself to the world.