With everything moving so quickly in public relations, we now find new trends emerging on an almost monthly basis. It’s true, traditional staples such as press releases or paid advertising will always exist but the path to effective public relations continues to twist and turn in every direction.
But what does this mean exactly?
It means that public relations continue to evolve and many companies will fall behind due to lack of understanding or awareness. More specifically, this also points out the inadequacy of outdated PR strategies and campaigns that fail to recognize the importance of creativity, trust and authenticity.
Recent studies show that more than 50 billion connected devices will exist for a world population of just 7.5 billion. Increased connectivity means more data and this essentially means that people are far more informed than ever before. For this reason, the PR industry has needed to adopt new technology and data in order to track and use information to see what actually works.
While the following is not a definitive list of emerging trends in public relations, it’s important to note how the old way of doing things is no longer effective. That is to say, there is a right and wrong way that you should know about in terms of launching or growing your business.
Now, let’s take a look at emerging trends in public relations for 2020 that you should know about:
The Problem Facing Businesses – High cost of PR & Marketing
In recent times, high costs have prevented many small and medium-sized businesses from adopting PR related technology. However, as more and more time passes, we can see the lacklustre agencies disappear and better pricing come into effect.
As we continue in 2020, we should also see the accessibility or affordability of data to enable these agencies to help small and medium-sized companies for a much lesser cost. Pressfarm is one of the emerging PR agencies providing very cost-friendly PR packages for startups and established companies who want to get featured in the news or industry blogs.
Creating Niche Content that Cuts Through the Noise
As you know, we won’t be seeing the role of PRs replaced by artificial intelligence anytime soon. However, the high quality of resources and data should continue to enable PR agencies to implement better formulas, campaigns and results.
As a result, how audiences interact with media will also change and create a need or demand for clever campaigns. That is to say, PR agencies will need to use as much data as possible to create niche campaigns and creative content that cuts through the noise. After all, cutting through this noise is most often the greatest obstacle and great content is a solution!
Smart PR for Building Relationships Between Clients and Customers
Online audiences are warier of content in general. In this age, content needs to be more transparent and authentic than ever – content that provides something new in particular. For this reason, agencies and PR professionals will play an increasingly important role in 2020 when it comes to creating content strategies that work.
Just so you know, much of the focus will be placed on strategic writing that connects with the online audiences. In this sense, building a meaningful connection and relationship with the audience will help increase transparency and trust. At the same time, any success in respect of the above will help solidify a better relationship between the client and the agency or PR professional.
Early stage startups that just launched will need to build a voice in that aspect. Media outreach to industry blogs and publications will become even more important to cement your voice as a young startup in the industry. Pressfarm’s campaign packages and enterprise services can help you land your story in recognised publications and industry blogs which increases your brand awareness, credibility and sales.
Shifting Attention to Authentic Influencers
We will see a shift toward influencers that deploy more transparency and authenticity. What’s more? This shift will also see smaller influencers come into the fold as companies look to create partnerships that provide more than just numbers to the brand. In terms of logistics, these smaller influencers are also a lot easier to manage and most often more willing to work with companies in the first place. When you think of it, this also makes sense because some influencers with smaller numbers tend to have a closer connection with their following than say an influencer that might use paid advertising or mass tactics to build up the numbers on social media.
PR Strategies Will Experiment with Interactive Content
Let’s be honest, it’s only a matter of time before augmented or virtual reality takes over. When this happens, PR strategies will inevitably use this form of content to give people what they want.
We are talking about interactive content that will stand out amongst the competition. When the likes of VR take over, there may be no other way to compete. With this in mind, PR professionals are likely to experiment with this kind of content over the coming year.
Leveraging Creativity to Incite More Emotion
Most of the PR trends for 2020 rely on data and technology. However, algorithms and artificial intelligence is not nearly enough to drive PR in the coming years. Humans are emotional beings and this element requires that PR strategies are meaningful and purposeful.
With this in mind, PR professionals need to develop content that is truly relevant and valuable to the consumer. And it’s true that value and relevancy has always been the key but this is more important than ever now and professionals need to leverage creativity and avoid any messaging that seems irrelevant and lacking in creativity.
Email Strategy Will Live On in Spite of Decline
Social media and chatbots have significantly reduced the amount of time that PR professionals spend on email strategy. However, email outreach continues to provide an exceptional tool and the return on investment is still just as impressive.
More than 80% of marketing professionals cite email strategy as being the main driver for retention and acquisition. What’s more, 70% of customers prefer email over any other form of business communication.
When sending a pitch, email has a much better chance of finding its way to the front cover. In a recent study by Cision, journalists and bloggers still preferred email as their primary way of contact. At Pressfarm, we combine email outreach with a couple of other methods like social media outreach. However, we have been very successful pitching our startup clients to journalists and bloggers through email outreach.
Emphasis on Artificial Intelligence for PR Will Grow
It’s impossible to really say where the world of artificial intelligence is going right now. But at the same time, we know that AI is already a huge component of society as a whole. In public relations, AI technology was once thought about with scepticism but now these tools are commonplace.
Automated emails and chatbots are good examples of AI but regardless, PR professionals will need to better understand these tools and learn how to adopt them as part of PR strategy going forward.
Leveraging Live Streaming for PR Strategies
Live streaming is showing no sign of slowing down and we already know that a live video is likely to receive almost ten times the number of views or comments as an article. For public relations, this makes live streaming a great opportunity to amplify a particular piece of content and initiate discussions, interviews and interaction for the campaign.
It should be said that live streaming is often ignored for the fact that people have little or no experience with going live. However, the results speak for themselves and this is certainly a great way for PR agencies to leverage their efforts.
Editorials/Advertorials Will be Increasingly Important
The PR industry evolves faster than most other sectors and companies need to keep up in order to stay ahead of the competition. As you know, PR agencies and professionals are also known as a sort of “fast-track” and a way to cut through the noise, while making the most of the numbers.
Editorials and advertorials are a great example, for they have been around forever but continue to provide an excellent boost for PR. An advertorial is an advertisement in a magazine or newspaper that provides information in the style of a journalistic article.
An editorial is easy to choose but picking the right advertorial is essential for receiving a worthwhile return on investment. Needless to say, this is where PR professionals come into play to write engaging advertorials that convey the right message to a particular audience.
Using Data and in-Depth Analysis to Craft Better PR Strategies
You might notice that we have managed to avoid the topic of data until now. The truth is, data is right at the forefront of PR trends for 2020. With real time access to critical data, PR teams can make informed decisions and use this data to measure the success for each component of their strategy.
For this reason, data will guide PR efforts and help determine the effectiveness of these tactics. Every PR campaign relies on accurate data and in-depth analysis is now the driving force behind any PR strategy that is well crafted, evaluated and executed.
Using Stories and Experiences for Media Pitches
We already mentioned the importance of transparency and authenticity. However, there is also a rising trend that requires companies to consider their digital and social footprint. Cause marketing is a great example of this movement as many products or companies use charitable causes to help improve the connection they have with a particular audience. But more on that in a moment.
When it comes to PR, companies need to be more strategic when they look for coverage or when pitching ideas. More specifically, it means that incorporating stories or experiences into their email pitches will gain more traction.
Embracing the Power of “Cause Media” and Earned Media
And back to cause marketing or “cause media”. Companies can gain ground by moving forward with ideas that serve a public interest. In such instances, these ideas will generate traction in the form of online shares and coverage from media outlets. In fact, successful attempts will likely turn viral to some extent and enable companies to help a certain cause, while connecting with their audience.
It’s important to note this rise in earned media and the basis for which is largely infused with trust, transparency and authenticity.
PR Tools and Technology Will Become More Affordable
The truth is, time and money is the biggest obstacle for companies in terms of PR. Simply put, the high costs associated with PR agencies has prevented companies from reaching out to the media. However, most PR tools are now attainable for companies regardless of budget and this helps PR agencies collect data and deploy strategies more efficiently.
For this reasons, agencies like Pressfarm can now offer an impressive return on investment for small and medium sized businesses that wish to experience the benefits of having a PR team on board. Pressfarm services like the writing and distribution of a press release can help startups grow exponentially through PR at very minimal budgets.
Professionals Will Continue to Shape the PR World
One thing is certain: public relations will shape how companies launch or grow in the coming years. Whether this refers to marketing products and services or raising capital for a certain venture, these teams and individuals can be used as a “fast lane” to publicity.
After all, PR has evolved with lightning pace in recent years and lack of understanding or resources is sure to prevent most companies from gaining their desired traction or results without the assistance of such people.
And that’s it – the most notable emerging trends in PR for 2020. Whether you are part of a PR team or not, these are the most invaluable trends to follow in order to maximize traction and results.
While the PR industry continues to race forward, taking time to understand the emergence of new technology and data is key. With this information, PR strategies can be built on informed decisions and accurate data can help define campaigns that will connect with the audience.
These PR trends allow for each campaign to be measured, and enable PR agencies to work within your budget and deploy PR strategies that will better serve your business.