Over the last few years, many professions have grown, changed and evolved almost unrecognizably. For example, marketing has gone from direct mail to more digitally focused strategies such as social media messages, guest blogging, and email marketing. In addition, the number of tools that marketing professionals now have access to has increased significantly and is expected to rise even further. In coming years, PR is expected to also take some huge steps towards growth and evolution. Whilst it may not have changed so rapidly as the marketing industry, new and upcoming trends are expected to create significant change in the way in which public relations is executed. The following trends are expected to be the most influential:
#1. Influencer Marketing:
One term that has been buzzing around a lot this year is influencer marketing and it’s one that you may have heard if you’re studying for a public relations masters. This type of marketing strategy mainly differentiates from others in that it focuses on using key industry figures and leaders to drive your brand’s communications and message to a larger target market. Influencers will do the work for your brand in return for payment, free products and services, advertising, or even just by being inspired by your brand. Influencers can be anyone from celebrities to bloggers, vloggers, and social media users with a huge following.
#2. Increasing Importance of Online Reputation Management:
Whether it’s in real life or on social media, the main goal of PR always will be about getting more people to talk about your brand in a positive manner. Today, the overall customer experience does not just include the service given at the point of sale, but rather everything else that a brand can offer to its target audience. For example, today’s customers turn to their favorite brands for quality, engaging, and informative content that they can apply to solve various problems in their everyday lives. Solid content from your brand that shows off your level of expertise will have a positive result. Another important aspect of online reputation management will be to encourage good press about your brand and proactively encouraging positive stories and reviews.
#3. Contributors are Becoming More Important:
Whilst PR used to be more focused on the news and journalism, things have definitely changed over the past few years. Although some companies are still advocates for the traditional press release and it’s still included when taking an online public relations program, this has become a much less popular option than it once was and for many companies it is no longer the go-to method for getting news out there. Contributor marketers such as bloggers and social media celebrities focus on not being a journalist and provide a different perspective on a topic. Because of this, more companies are interested in working with them, especially if they are influential in their own right and have something new, interesting or even controversial to say that’s likely to gain traction.
What are the biggest changes you have noticed in PR over time? We’d love to hear from you in the comments.