In last week’s column, we answered the letter of Deanna Y., who asked what PR practitioners can look forward to this year, which is also the beginning of a new decade.
We got lots of help from Melissa DiGianfilippo and Alexis Krisay of Serendipit Consulting through their PR Daily article, “2020 Vision: The top 5 emerging trends in marketing and PR.” They listed the trends as:
- An interactive content explosion or more engagement
- New roles for chatbots, which they call “a new voice in consumer communications”
- A social-media shake-up where they “expect to see more micro-influencers being favored over macro-influencers”
- “Brandstanding,” which stems from deep authentic values shared by an organization and consumers over grandstanding, which is often about showing off and gimmickry
- Enhanced personalized brand experiences
Since this is the start of a new decade, there is so much to look forward to in the field of PR, which Valerie Christopherson shares with us in her article “2020 Vision—6 PR trends and predictions for the new year,” which appeared in agilitypr.com. Valerie is the founder and CEO of Global Results Communications, an award-winning PR firm.
Valerie begins by a throwback to the past 20 years, in which “we’ve seen the role of the PR person become a more critical function within a company than ever before.”
With that, “2020 marks a new decade for PR pros with digital, video and content at the heart of what’s in store.” And moving forward, our profession is definitely evolving with that Valerie says are “trends likely to define a new era.”
1 Less reliance on the middleman. Valerie cites comScore predictions that 50 percent of Google searches will move to voice searches in 2020. This will enable clients to communicate directly with their intended audience, challenging PR firms to “be able to connect A to Z with a direct, straight line, while also strengthening media relations.”
2 More entertainment to animate news. Digital video and podcasts will continue to soar, says Valerie. That’s why it is important for PR firms “to focus on these avenues to keep their clients in the spotlight.”
These very entertaining videos and podcasts can “compete—but, in some cases, complement traditional news. Make no mistake. The concept of true news will enable traditional news to make a comeback.”
3 Success measured in Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). Valerie sees “more clients will demand measurable, tangible proof that their dollars are converting to their desire goals.” In short, the bottom line will be very important in every PR endeavor.
This will require “a PR strategy with clearly defined goals, objectives, KPIs.”
4 Content as the new king. The importance of content emerges with the new decade. “As brands beef up their budgets and personalization strategies in their battle for consumer attention, quality and creativity in content will be more important than ever, regardless of industry,” says Valerie.
Executives will seek new opportunities to become subject-matter experts and thought leaders with smart high-impact content. For consumers, however, “with all that content floating in the ether—nothing will change the fact that people still want and crave a good old-fashioned story—one that entertains, informs or inspires them to do something.”
5 Attention earned ads. PR pros will have to work harder on making sure they give outlets quality materials as we see “more demands for earned media.” We will see, however, outlets “making up for the loss of dollars via paid placements.”
6 Awareness creates demand for good corporate citizenship. With “adults and young children, alike, hyper-exposed to critical issues facing our planet and the communities where we live, they are demanding change from both government and business that cannot be ignored.”
Given that, Valerie sees that, “partnering or supporting charitable causes will be more prevalent as companies look for ways to balance shareholder value with consumer demands and corporate social responsibility.”
Likewise, “public relations campaigns designed to solve society’s most pressing issues will be existential, and PR firms will be the drivers directing these initiatives for their clients.”
All in all, Valerie sees that with the shifting times, “PR will continue to transform in ways that can be both intimidating and hopeful. Those willing to embrace and adapt to the new multimedia landscape will enjoy the benefits of being awake to fresh new opportunities and consistent growth.”
Hope that gives you more 20/20 vision about PR trends.
PR Matters is a roundtable column by members of the local chapter of the United Kingdom-based International Public Relations Association, the world’s premier association for senior professionals around the world. Millie F. Dizon, the senior vice president for marketing and communications of SM, is the former local chairman.
We are devoting a special column each month to answer the reader’s questions about public relations. Please send your comments and questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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