Communication models are changing frequently and with it the preferences of the audiences too are shifting that has a direct impact on public relations. PR professionals need to continuously be on their toes to update their parameters to cater to the audiences’ needs and preference. Also, with different channels of communication available in the media now, the approach too differs. While the traditional media has a certain kind of approach that might be more on the formal side, the modern media that includes digital might have a slightly casual approach. The PRs should be equipped to deal with each and update themselves on the different trends and strategies that come up each year.
To be a successful PR, one needs to keep up with the latest trends that are showing up other than getting ready for the ones that are forecasted for the year. Here are some of the major PR trends predicted for the year 2016:
- Take a break from the traditional press release: What modern PRs should realize is that the traditional press releases don’t work anymore. Blindly distributing a piece of paper with your release in it is just a waste of your time, effort and resources. Unless you’re a big brand or have something groundbreaking to state, the media is no longer interested. Instead PRs should focus on attracting attention of the press through social media channels where they can reach out to journalists and even have industry leaders and influencers talk about their clients. Include good visuals in your posts to attract maximum attention.
- Increasing your content is important: To get your content out to a wide range of audience, you need to promote it well and for that you need to have enough and more original content. You need to work on amplifying your content and leveraging the different channels available to promote the same. When you have good content, reaching out to your audiences with it gets easier and people will also share it further with their contacts. You can also include new content for lead generation and events in different forms. Try and use infographics as and when you can.
- Keep negative publicity at bay through content: While there are many different ways to keep people from talking negative about your brand, one of the more useful ways to do that is through content. Train employees to handle such situations though the use of content during the on-boarding process to introduce them to the company’s culture and policies. Your customers will get better experience if you have educated and better equipped people in your team which in turn will keep them from falling prey to negative publicity of the brand on social media.
- Thought leadership will gain budget priority: Thought leadership has gained considerable ground in the past few years and will continue to grow in the future so much so that it will become an important part of PR budget. PR individuals and agencies in the past have noticed the benefits of thought leadership and executive branding and have suggested it to their clients. This has enabled some of the business leaders and companies to position themselves as industry leaders in their space that in return contributes towards PR activities. But before going out and promoting the brand and image, the thought leader should develop original content for the brand.
- Online reputation management is a priority: Journalists always look a brand up online when you pitch a story or content, if it is interesting enough from the many pitches that they receive on a regular basis. Your content should be impressive enough for them to pursue you further which is why your online reputation management has become more important than before. The first test is passed when the journalist finds solid positive content online about the brand that will in turn make him or her interested to work with you. Hence, you should work consistently to generate original and positive content for your client and manage the online reputation of the brand.
- Positive brand image will win genuine followers: There are ways to win over followers on social media, by paying for them but if you want genuine followers then nothing can be more influential than a positive consistent approach. Even if there are little followers that come your way, they’re genuine. It’s better to have a small good quality audience than to have no engagement at all. Develop a network and work towards building influence towards your targeted audience this year.
While these are some of the trends that PR will see in action this year, when it comes to ads, the importance and use of paid promotions and social ads will continue to grow too. As a PR professional, you need to integrate these in your strategy for the client to keep up with the times and achieve better results.
The PR department at Unspun is well aware of the changing trends and keep ourselves in the knowhow of the latest to leverage them for our clients.