The public relations industry is undergoing a transformative phase, marked by the emergence of new PR trends and forecasts. While these changes may seem insignificant to those outside the sector, they pose significant challenges to PR practitioners. Whether you’re handling PR for your company, working at an agency, or operating as an independent PR professional, it is crucial to adapt to these changes. Failing to keep up with the dynamic nature of the field can hinder your effectiveness. Both agencies and clients need to adjust their strategies to ensure that these changes work in their favor, enhancing their publicity efforts.
Let’s delve into these changes, explore their causes, and discuss the PR industry trends and forecasts to expect in 2023 as a consequence.
What are the changes happening in the PR industry?
The PR industry is influenced by both internal factors within the sector and external forces such as the media and businesses.
Internally, the industry is witnessing a proliferation of small agencies across various locations. These boutiques or agencies with a small number of employees are primarily focused on local market PR. They compete with established players in the industry by offering lower prices, resulting in the rise of low-cost PR services. While this trend may seem beneficial, it’s important to remember that cheaper services may compromise the quality of work, potentially impacting the overall reputation of the PR industry.
Externally, the media landscape has also evolved. The economic recession and declining demand for print news have led to significant downsizing in newsrooms across media outlets. Consequently, the media has shifted its focus online, seeking stories from digital platforms. However, the reduced workforce in newsrooms makes it challenging for them to keep up with the demand for content. This evolving media ecosystem has forced PR firms to adapt and find ways to provide news stories to the media. While this presents an opportunity, it also poses a challenge for PR professionals to filter out the noise and ensure the dissemination of authentic news.
What factors are driving these changes?
The recession may not be the primary cause of these shifts; rather, it has accelerated trends that were already underway.
The changes in the PR industry can be attributed to two main factors:
- Businesses have recognized the potential of digital marketing and its ability to deliver measurable and trackable results. They now expect PR to achieve similar outcomes. However, PR has traditionally struggled to provide measurable results that are not mired in controversy. This misalignment between expectations and outcomes has driven the need for change.
- Startups have gained prominence as the influx of investment capital has flooded the market. Some of this funding has been directed towards public relations. As a result, non-corporate marketers have encountered traditional PR standards that may clash with the startup culture, necessitating a reevaluation of PR practices.
6 emerging PR industry trends and forecasts
1. Digital nomads
In 2023, the concept of digital nomads is expected to become more prevalent. The COVID-19 pandemic has reshaped work dynamics, with remote work becoming the new norm. Major companies like Microsoft, Google, and Facebook have embraced permanent remote work policies. This shift allows employees to work from anywhere, enabling a “digital nomad” lifestyle. Embracing digital nomads in PR agencies can expand the candidate pool and attract top talent.
2. Artificial Intelligence (AI)
AI is gaining significance across industries, including public relations. AI-powered tools like ChatGPT, Grammarly, and HelloScribe are being widely adopted in PR and marketing. These tools enhance accuracy in communications, assess audience sentiment, and contribute to the overall effectiveness of PR campaigns. As PR professionals become more aware of the benefits of AI, its adoption is expected to increase in 2023. AI is also being utilized to build and enhance the metaverse, providing opportunities for creative and immersive PR strategies.
With the prevalence of virtual conferences, attendees can already log into the metaverse as avatars and attend events such as meet-and-greets, trade exhibits, concerts, and private shopping events. Brands are already purchasing land in 3D virtual reality worlds like Decentraland and developing buildings and plazas where customers can shop and interact with their brands in new ways.
As the world becomes more complex, there is a growing demand for straightforward brand messages that are free from exaggeration and unnecessary flair. Simplifying brand messages will be a key PR trend in 2023. With news consumption shifting to personalized digital platforms, having a concise and impactful message to convey the value of your brand to the target audience is crucial. PR firms can play a vital role in simplifying and shortening narratives while effectively communicating what they do and why it matters.
4. Live events
After a prolonged hiatus due to the pandemic, live events are making a comeback. With the situation under control thanks to vaccines and testing programs, people are eager to resume face-to-face networking. In-person business events, such as trade shows, industry conventions, and networking functions, will regain prominence as effective PR strategies. These events provide opportunities for brand exposure, partnership building, sponsorships, and direct engagement with a captive audience.
5. Purpose-driven PR
In 2023, brands will place a greater emphasis on communicating their mission-based activities through PR efforts. The events of 2020 highlighted the need for companies to address outdated policies, enhance diversity and inclusion initiatives, and actively participate in social issues. Brands will be expected to demonstrate accountability and transparency by aligning their PR communications with their commitment to social responsibility. Conscious consumers will scrutinize brands to ensure they deliver on their promises and actively contribute to positive change.
Consumers increasingly demand personalized experiences and expect brands to treat them as unique individuals. Traditional mass media reach and impact are waning as audiences shift their attention to distributed platforms and actively seek relevant and engaging content. PR professionals are recognizing the importance of customization and message relevance in effectively engaging audiences. This trend will drive PR practitioners to orchestrate complex programs that align with customer-centric journeys across various digital platforms and experiences.
In conclusion, the PR industry is undergoing significant changes, and staying ahead of PR industry trends and forecasts is essential for success. By embracing digital nomads, leveraging AI, simplifying brand messages, capitalizing on live events, focusing on purpose-driven PR, and personalizing PR strategies, professionals can navigate the evolving landscape and achieve impactful results in 2023.
Leverage these PR industry trends and forecasts for growth in 2023
Do you need help leveraging these PR industry trends and forecasts for your brand? Luckily for you, there are many PR professionals who are up to date with these trends and have devised strategies to help brands stand out in 2023.
For example, an agency like Pressfarm can provide cost-friendly PR packages for startups and established companies that want to get featured in the news or industry blogs.
With a winning press release, some compelling guest posts, and a creative media kit from the experts at Pressfarm, you can make a huge splash with your brand. Besides creating quality content worthy of making heads turn among both the media as well as your target audience, Pressfarm is skilled at developing effective distribution strategies.
By featuring your content in respected media outlets, Pressfarm boosts your online presence. This helps you feature in relevant search results across different search engines. Similarly, with custom media lists built personally by an account executive, you can connect with the best journalists in your niche. With an affordable package from Pressfarm, you can start generating the publicity your brand deserves.