Public Relations Tomorrow
As is true in all communications, looking to the future is relevant to public relations (PR) professionals. Predicting trends, preparing for all the possible outcomes of a campaign or crisis and simple scheduling are all tasks constantly top of mind for PR pros. In an ever-changing industry like this, foreseeing the future can be a daunting task but is an important one.
More and more, data technology is extremely valuable in the PR world, and its value will continue to accelerate. The tools created to manage this advanced data technology can help PR professionals keep up with and interpret meaning from the large amount of data gathered. This technology can be used to forecast the level and velocity of campaign and social media content exposure by modeling past projects. PR agencies can also leverage historical data captured by tracking technology to effectively develop media strategies before a crisis occurs.
Changes in media consumption are also affecting the way we prioritize media channels and develop the content they deliver. Over time, print media consumption has been slowly fading, with digital journalism taking the main focus. This requires PR pros to fully embrace online journalism mediums, catering content to the online form and shifting from journalist-based public relations to a customer-focused approach. With consumers playing a larger role in media strategies for brands, agencies are creating content specifically tailored to clients’ target customers. The emphasis is to build a deeper and more enduring connection with a brand’s prospects and customers, thereby creating and maintaining a loyal audience.
As PR professionals move to a customer-based approach, they must acknowledge growing consumer interest in brands demonstrating a commitment to social responsibility. Consumers’ purchase decisions are increasingly being affected by whether brands meet certain standards of social awareness and inclusivity. In the past, some brands have been hesitant to weigh in on current events for fear of public backlash, but over time we have seen that many use these events as strategic opportunities to be a part of the current narrative. According to a study conducted by Sprout Social, “Two-thirds of consumers feel it’s important for brands to take a public stance on leading social and political issues like immigration, civil rights and race relations, and more than half (58 percent) are most receptive to this happening on social media.” The importance of these consumer expectations is shifting the PR needs of brands to a focus on conveying social responsibility and consciousness.
The future of public relations exists in solid content that is more informed, relevant and resonant than ever before. It’s an exciting time for the PR industry, and we can’t wait to see what’s to come!
Public Relations Intern
Catch up on the first two parts of this series below!