Now Trending in PR
Public relations is an ever-changing industry, and because of that, it is important to stay on top of your game. Whatever PR hat you wear, it’s likely you’re looking ahead to what’s next so you can continue to adapt to the times.
A few years ago, social media was just beginning to put a dent in the public relations scene. Now it’s bad form if your brand doesn’t have a digital voice. Gone are the days of using one form of media to tell your story. Today, an eclectic mix of earned coverage and content creation is just what the doctor ordered. Media pitching has changed too. Cold-calling reporters and faxing press releases? So decades ago. Now stalking – ahem, I mean researching – a reporter’s Twitter and Instagram pages to find out their interests and what they are talking about is your ticket to a placement.
What’s in today may certainly be out tomorrow, and that rings true for trends in PR. Here are a few we love right now:
The all-important influencer
Influencers come in all shapes in sizes – from personal trainer Kayla Itsines, who boasts 7.8 million Instagram followers, to local “micro-influencers” who have just a few thousand followers but are more likely to engage with their following. Whatever the type, influencers are just another way for a brand to interact with its audiences. PR pros may consider partnering with one to take over your client’s Instagram account for the day, or to co-develop sponsored blog posts that tout your client’s product. Just remember to keep key messages at top of mind and to make sure the influencer fits with your brand’s PR strategy.
(P.S. You can check out Forbes’ list of 2017’s top influencers here.)
Video, video, video
We are constantly consuming video on our mobile devices. (In fact, Gen Z-ers are the ultimate consumers and watch an average of 2 to 4 hours of YouTube videos per day!) It’s important to incorporate video content into your PR strategy. Have a great pitch but need to make it stand out? Include a brand video to showcase your client’s personality. Want a fresh way to communicate with stakeholders? Make a YouTube channel to publish recaps and interviews to foster engagement. Want to entice folks to come to your event? Do a Facebook Live to show them the fun they are missing. The possibilities are endless.
Be your own content creator
As PR pros, we are used to writing, re-writing, and writing some more. And that talent (yes, talent!) is versatile and can be interpreted over multiple mediums.
You are your client’s biggest champion, so let that shine in content and messaging. It’s becoming more commonplace for organizations to engage with their audiences via blog posts, social media, bylined articles, videos and podcasts. Authentic writing has never been more important. Use your voice! By being your own content creator, the world is truly your oyster.
And don’t forget…
Trends will come and go, but the value of public relations will always remain. Earned placements are more informative, shareable and influential than paid content can ever be. But a healthy mix can sufficiently build relationships with your audiences, whether it’s through an influencer social media campaign or earned media coverage in the Wall Street Journal.