Essential to effective public relations planning is staying ahead of the curve in terms of PR trends. In this blog we’ll outline our predictions for what we predict will be the significant PR trends of the coming year.
- Internal relations– In the public relations world it’s all too easy for your focus to be external; after all, it is essentially your job to project your brand identity to the outside world. However, it is becoming increasingly important for public relations professionals and teams to communicate with others within the company. This is a two-way street in terms of advantages: communicating with managers and others within your organization can be a great source of stories and angles that can inform your PR campaigns, while keeping internal colleagues informed about PR strategies and projects can be a great way to get employees all pulling in the same direction in terms of brand messaging.
- Live video– The use of live video in public relations and marketing continues to grow. There is overwhelming evidence that consumers prefer live content over prerecorded video, and especially over blog posts and other types of “static” content. Live content can be a great way to showcase new products or services, or demonstrate thought leadership, and can also be a powerful tool for engagement, giving viewers a window into the personality of your brand in a way that other types of content can’t so readily achieve.
- Crisis planning – We live in an age where bad news – and bad sentiment – can spread more quickly than ever before. For public relations professionals there’s an irony in the fact that one of the best ways to get people talking about your brand is to do something wrong – negative publicity can go viral so much more quickly than the most finely crafted PR campaign! That’s why it’s important to have a well-planned crisis communication plan in place, ready to roll out if damage limitation needs to be carried out in the event of negative publicity. It can help to have selected individuals with clearly defined roles in place, to ensure that any communications your brand puts out during a crisis are clear and consistent.
- Influencers – As social media usage grows across all age ranges – but particularly in the youth demographic – it has become all the more important in public relations and marketing to work with influencers in order to engage potential customers. Spreading your brand message via influencers doesn’t always need to be about engaging with “mega-influencers” with hundreds of thousands of followers. Brands are increasingly finding that micro-influencers (1,000 to 10,000 followers) and nano-influencers (fewer than 1,000 followers) can be advantageous, as those individuals tend to have a closer two-way engagement with their follower base than those influencers with massive fanbases
- Social responsibility– It is becoming increasingly obvious that 21st-century consumers – and especially millennials – are looking for brands to be socially responsible in their policies and actions and are willing to walk away from brands where this is not evident. Look at the ways in which your business can make a difference, either in its core operating policies and strategies, or in specific social outreach programs. Remember that you don’t have to cure world hunger in order to be socially responsible – it could be something as simple as committing time, money or resources to supporting your local community in a positive way.
Those are our top five predictions for PR trends for the coming year. If your business needs help with spreading your brand message in an ever-shifting media environment, get in touch with Beyond Fifteen today to discuss how we can help your brand grow.