Wednesday, 3 May 2017

10 PR Trends to Watch Out for in 2017

We are already into 2017 and as always, the New Year brings forth new hopes and expectations. Every industry evolves with time and the Public Relations sector is no exception. The year 2016 saw PR being elevated to a higher plane following several corporate mishaps. Amidst the American presidential election, the citizens were constantly bombarded with messages through variety of communication channels. Whatever be its repercussions, one thing is certain: PR sector is poised for immense growth. Here are top trends to watch out for in 2017:

1. PR is no more Synonymous with Press Release

 Gone are those days when the traditional press release was the best way to get stories published.  Now with the proliferation of online media and news travelling  as fast as light, it is faster to just pitch stories to journalists and get them published on online forums. You can even start your own blogs and publish stories and share it on social media. Not only will it save you from prying eyes of Google for duplicate content, it will also give you added visibility. 

2. Thought Leadership and Personal Branding is Key

One of the ways to get quick dividends in Public Relations is to position yourself as a thought leader. Not only does it grab the audience’s attention, it also builds trust.  You can do so by publishing articles and opinion pieces in prominent newspapers and social media sites.

3. PR Relying on Non -Traditional Content Amplification

Content will rule the roost in 2017. Though social media will remain as the main channel to disseminate content, paid promotion on social media websites such as sponsored posts on LinkedIn and Google Adwords will be instant hit.

4. Data Driven PR is Buzzword

PR no longer remains confined to story-telling. Since various ways to collect data are available, it is prudent to include it in your day- to -day life. For example: one can determine the best time to post content on the social website or identify which kind of content is more popular.

5. Personalizing Digital Pitch

No more cold pitches will yield results. Good media relations form the bread and butter of PR more than ever before.  It is important to cultivate amiable relations with the journalists and editors if you want your content to be published first. Connect with them on social media. Add personal touch to your emails by referring to past stories by a particular reporter.

6. PR Will Need a Broader  Skillset'

PR no longer demands only writing, event planning and maintaining sound media relations. It also demands your proficiency in social media, content marketing and content strategy. As the once fine line between earned and owned media become hazy, you should get better at combining these with paid media for a successful campaign.

7. Be Prepared to Work in Real Time

PR no longer will give you days to express yourself. Gear up for real time responses in order to be in news. Hiring a full-time social media manager is a way to go.

8. Visual Storytelling

Videos enjoy unwavering popularity. According to experts, videos contribute to 74 percent increase in understanding. So incorporate video and other visual tools such as images and slideshows in PR campaigns.

9. Reputation Matters More Than Ever Before

As PR responsibilities evolve further, reputation management assumes a crucial role. The corporate will increasingly rely on PR professionals to protect and enhance their reputation. In light of the recent study by Dr. Jonathan Albright of Elon University, there is significant concern over tarnishing reputation through fake news sources. Given the explosion of online rating websites, there is a need to work even more aggressively towards protecting brands.

10.  Influencer Marketing Will Rule Roost

While consumer trust in advertisements and even in traditional media sources continues to decline, trust in influencers is growing significantly. More organizations and PR agencies leverage influencers as ongoing contributors. Finding authentic advocates who actually connect with their followers and your target audience is a way to go.  

 The author of this opinion article is Ms. Ashita Kulshreshtha at PR Professionals

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