‘Tis the season to watch for upcoming trends in 2019 — and public relations is no different, as changes in the media industry continue to transform dramatically. Because of cuts in newsrooms, those of us fighting for space and air time are forced to reevaluate what we do and how we are to promote and position our clients.
The old song “Video Killed the Radio Star” could be rebooted today to “Digital Killed the Media Star,” and it would look no different. Because of the growth of digital, brands can become their own media outlet and do it with far fewer resources. So, we now have to think differently.
There is possibly no more important trend currently than that of content creation. Today, there are six public relations pros to each journalist. That is a lot of competition for media attention. This “trend” may not be new, but it IS important.
With so much competition, brands are turning into their own media outlets. In order to do that, you have to make a commitment to pushing out meaningful content. The key word in that statement is “meaningful,” however. If you are pushing out content for the sake of getting your message out, you are missing the mark.
Be sure to devote an agency or a team to creating and distributing your branded content. There is no better way to tell your own story. Additionally, you can still get the benefits of a third party endorsement because outlets are craving for easy content. Most will still require it to fit in with their specifications, but they provide a great opportunity for your organization.
One important piece in the quickly changing world of PR and marketing is just that – it is quickly changing. Though planning and long-term strategy are important for a sound public relations plan, today’s world insists that we are also able to bend and sway along the way. Technology and the 24-hour news cycle dictate how people consume their information and for a PR professional, missing out on those opportunities can be highly detrimental. Be flexible and always look for opportunities to supplement what you already have in motion.
Earned Social Media
Earned social media is when an influencer on social media promotes your product, mission or organization. Maybe they retweet your article. Maybe they discuss how valuable your product is. Or maybe they are moved by the work you do for others and express it in a Facebook post. In the past, influencer marketing has been primarily a paid effort and, it is still utilized heavily today. Though as the general public becomes more educated on how these things work, the popularity is dwindling since the requirement to include the designation of an ad to the post, and the loss of public trust when money is involved.
Earned social media is different but it is difficult and it takes work. However, the benefits are that it can be worth more than a story placement. Receiving this authentic third party validation through an unexpected, yet trusted source can cause your audience to pay attention and view you in a different light. And, better yet, act.
Corporate Social Responsibility
When most people think of public relations, they think of press releases and interviews. And, while media relations is an enormous part of what we do, there are so many other opportunities within public relations to make an impact.
One of this year’s biggest trends is focusing on social responsibility. Examples of such outreach include switching to paper straws, or donating one pair of shoes for every pair you sell to an orphanage. There are so many things organizations can do to help make the world a better place. Maybe that is your mission already. But there are always extra initiatives you can take on to give back.
One trend that never goes out of style in public relations is working hard to EARN publicity. Whether it is print, blogs, social media, or word of mouth, traditional public relations will always be in vogue and the most effective way of reaching your audience.
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