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PR Trends that will pave the way for the future

We are going through some rough times… While technology disrupts every profession in a different scale, a key word to describe the change in our industry could only be: ‘revolution’

Public Relations and Marketing Communications are changing fast… It’s no longer about distributing the press releases, but rather distributing the content through a variety of earned and owned channels to generate brand awareness and drive business impact – through continuous, digital storytelling.

Thus, it crucial to follow the dazzling trends more than ever.

Let’s take a look into the industry’s future to make sure that we position ourselves in the best possible way.

Trust towards media plummets

More than 50 percent of Americans and 60 percent Turks are now getting their information outside the traditional media; making the use of social media platforms and direct communications with consumers a necessity.

According to the Edelman Trust Barometer 2018, globally, nearly seven in 10 respondents among the general population worry about fake news or false information being used as a weapon, and 59 percent say that it is getting harder to tell if a piece of news was produced by a respected media organisation. In such landscape;, media became the least-trusted institution.

The mainstream media is still crucial but reduced staff in newsrooms due to technological enhancements as well as effect of fake news result in an inevitable global challenge for PR. In the meantime, expectation from brands to show compassion to the social issues increase. Digital influencers are on stage grabbing attention and there is a new target audience for brands.

‘Owning’ media is and will be crucial

Today anybody who carries a smartphone is a potential publisher. In 2017, more than 32 percent of the global population used a smartphone. Owning your own media is critical more than ever to provide a voice you your institution.

Organisations must create, own and manage their own digital property. By developing a proprietary platform, you can build your own media. This will heighten your audience’s engagement, keep them coming back for more and give you visible results. We are getting ready to see some great examples of brand journalism in the upcoming years.

Alternative: Organisations have to create, develop and manage their own digital property closely. By doing so; brands will see their target audience engaging with them more. This will deepen the relations of the brand and their target audience and will reflect in business goals. We already started seeing some great examples of brand journalism and the best are yet to come.

Supporting the clients with expertise at all levels

If you have seen Mad-Men, you know what I mean… In the past, only top-tier executives were put forth as an organisation's industry experts and offer their insights in the most elegant way. Today, employees in all levels are expected to offer their insights in to day to day comms.

Helping those at all levels to grow and nurture their own personal brand would help organisations to carry out their legacy to the future. If you observe the influential brands; They support their staff to enrol classes, they organise internal workshops to brush up their skills and encourage them to create social media profiles that showcase their expertise. Make sure you have a talent pool that consists of gen Z and gen Y so that you will able to combine expertise with their fresh vision.

Specialisation on PR firms

Many boutique PR firms specialise in specific aspects of public relations, such as crisis communication, B2B, B2C, and reputation management. Using key professionals when necessary is an easy way that could save PR companies from a disaster. If you are not specialised in any of these areas, make sure your network is up to date and you know who to call when necessary. Agility is more crucial than ever… Be quick, be ready, be special.

A shift towards digital will continue

It’s not an over prediction if one says that PR trends for the next five years will be shaped around digital storytelling, brand journalism, social listening, and big data… To align your PR and marketing strategies with this rapidly changing world, use digital storytelling to engage your audience.

Become a master at social monitoring with apps, be the first to see negative conversations about your brand, and be ready to address problems before they get out of hand.

Use big data to adjust your content and strategy to reach more of your target audience. Big data can show you what topics, issues and problems are trending in your industry, so you can be among the first to address it. Use tools like SEMrush, Moz, KWFinder to find out your strengths and to differentiate in competition.

Qualitative measurement will be the key for ROI

According to PR measurement tool AirPR, companies spend about $30 billion on PR every year, and executives rightfully demand to see a return on that investment. Unfortunately, 82 percent of practitioners say they have no way to evaluate the return they receive with PR. Then they turn to figures… Execs find comfort in seeing specific numbers of page views, “likes” and rates for measuring the success of their PR. However, how do you gauge growth in brand trust or awareness? This is where PR pros must draw the line between quantitative and qualitative measurement.

Quantitative metrics might be easier, but they do not give an accurate or full-scale picture of public relations ROI. A shift toward qualitative measurement is inevitable.

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