Public relations is a well oiled machine which never stops; only evolving to match the starved public that craves the latest news. As PR specialists, we must always keep on our toes and ready to tackle the next crisis. It is also our duty to stay abreast of emerging trends that will enable us to obtain desired outcomes and innovative strategies to get the job done in an above satisfactory manner.
Here is a brief list of PR trends that I feel have emerged over the years.
1. The never ending cycle of social media
Yes, we are firmly in the age of technology. What once took hours to find can now be found anywhere on smartphones in 1 minute or less. I predict that one may never work on a campaign where one’s audience is all in one place. In fact, audiences are more fragmented than ever before, splitting their attention between a growing number of channels. To ensure the message is reaching the appropriate people, integrate social media into your PR efforts to bring your message to new audiences. Sharing your content across multiple channels will ensure that people will see it.
2. Utilizing your biggest fans
Who better to help you promote and disseminate information about a product or service than the people actually using the product? Brand ambassadors and “fans” make up the people who talk positively about a product or service online. They advocate for their products, and spread the word however they can. These people are a powerful marketing and selling tool. It would be wise for PR specialists to identify this group and incorporate them into campaigning efforts. As Mack Collier, the founder of #BlogChat and author of “Think Like A Rockstar,” said in his Social Media Tourism Symposium keynote, “You’re marketing to the wrong people…the real money is in connecting with your biggest fans. Your fans will go out and acquire new customers for you.”
3. Long Term Planning
There will be many times when as PR specialists we must simply, “put out the fire.” Meaning, that we must work quick on our feet to resolve a major issue immediately. In a situation such as this, it is understandable to be in a “short-term” state of mind. However, it is more beneficial to plan ahead. In order to make the most impact, we must be more strategic and think long term. We must have a plan for any crisis that may occur…. BEFORE IT EVEN HAPPENS. Doing so may save you a bit of stress.
4. Action speaks louder than words
It is no longer good enough to simply promote. PR specialists must promote in a way that enables targeted audiences to take action. Communication with the public should never be as though posting a note on a cork board. It should be a conversation open for feedback, a dialogue. Talking at people will get you blocked and judged. However, talking to people will result in proceeding action.
5. Renaissance PR Specialists
Public relations is no longer centered around writing press releases and building relationships. PR now involves, interactive media production, video production, event planning, interviewing, building relationships, writing, photography, social media, blogging, etc… with an emphasis on etc. because PR specialists never know what their next job will involve. In order to keep up with this ever evolving industry, we must be multi-talented individuals who are prepared for whatever is need to get the job done.
If you are a fellow aspiring public relations specialist, or if you already have years of PR experience under your belt, don’t hesitate to comment adding more PR trends you feel are on the rise. Thank you!