It’s the end of another era and another decade. Over the last 10 years, there has been an uptick in innovation and connectivity to the point where it is quite unbelievable where the world currently stands, and where it is going.
All industries should be sensing a shift in momentum and a feeling of excitement for what’s about to come, but none so much as people-centric industries such as public relations.
Public relation is a field that’s in flux due to the way in which the people and companies they’re communicating with quickly adapt to – and crave – difference and variety at an astonishing pace.
If the 2010s will go down as being known for the rise of the social media influencer and sensationalism, then it’s almost guaranteed that 2020 opens the door to new possibilities as people tire of being force-fed stories and products they don’t need.
Consumers are getting extremely savvy, so let’s take a glance at a few PR trends that could emerge in 2020.
#1 Data is the New Oil
When any industry in the Information Age is discussed, the importance of data simply comes as a pre-requisite. Data guides most, if not all, marketing strategies and it is no different for the world of public relations.
Using data is vital due to adjusting to how savvy consumers are. People can instantly recognize when they are being advertised something they don’t need due to how saturated the market is – and they’ll quickly lose faith in your brand if you aren’t offering them anything of value.
How does a PR agency help brands reach their consumers more effectively?
With carefully thought out strategies that are data-driven and based on factual evidence of what works and doesn’t. There is no room for randomness anymore and it’s through the clever utilization of data that PR can truly connect brands to people.
#2 Hyper-personalized campaigns
Data may be the key, but people still demand that brands speak to them face-to-face. It’s the responsibility of PR to understand that people refuse to be counted as a number anymore and want to be recognized as just as important as any other consumer.
For this reason, PR campaigns need to be hyper-personalized through the use of data and technology to speak to people on an individual level, show that their favorite brand recognizes their wants and needs; and then, and only then, is the next step to sell them.
Consumers derive a lot from the way PR messages make them feel, and by using hyper-personalized campaigns it shows that you’re going over and above to win these consumers over and get to know them on a personal level.
#3 PR that speaks to your business
Of course, PR is also meant to work for brands and companies! It’s been said before, but it has to be said again due to how important it is. Modern consumers know when they’re being marketed to, and are becoming increasingly aware of when businesses fail to grab their attention or speak to them on their level.
As a result, businesses also demand more from the PR industry, and this is why you will find more PR companies cropping up that are skilled in delivering the messaging of a specialized or niche field.
Whereas PR companies were simply made up of marketing professionals, 2020 will see the rise of PR companies with employees in their ranks who are skilled in a specific industry, for example, transport or finance or politics or sport. They’ll hire people with a deep understanding of a specific industry because these are the people most likely to connect consumers with businesses.
#4 PR needs to use modern technology
PR professionals in 2020 need to have an in-depth understanding of how the world works today.
For instance, why simply make a pitch based all on words, or communicate a brand’s message through one photo, when there are a plethora of social media channels to make use of? Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram, media in video, live stream, podcasts and augmented reality that can take a business to the next level directly front and center of the public eye. To help you do this here a few of my favorite digital marketing podcasts.
By utilizing these technologies in combination with the power of social media, you’ll also allow consumers to connect emotionally with brands and continuously engage with them on the medium of their choice.
There are now so many solutions to connect businesses with people on a very human level, that PR professionals need to focus on understanding the best ways to harness this power for each brand they represent. This way they’ll be able to bring a new and innovative approach to PR that is both personal (and fun!) to interact with.