PR Trends to Watch

Florence Fang
Managing Director and Principal Consultant
Flame Communications Pte Ltd

January 13, 2017

The PR industry is forever evolving, and currently it is morphing itself via digital channels. Hence, it is important for PR professionals to stay abreast with the trends in order to be on target and achieve optimum results.

Here are five top trends to lookout for:

1. Content Marketing

Content marketing is essentially marketing that involves the creation and sharing of viral videos, blog posts and social media posts that does not explicitly promote a brand and or product; rather, content marketing is intended to simulate audience interest.

So, what differentiates content marketing from PR? For Content Marketing, the goal is to ultimately drive profit and conversions. For PR, the goal is to create, strengthen brand awareness and promote a positive image.

Now, what makes this interesting is that, PR campaigns are now expected to generate leads and conversions rather than just brand awareness. They key is to include a variety of articles in the campaign. For instance, curating and sharing culture-centric stories mixed with contributed articles that highlights the product and or services offered in an educational tone.

2. Thought Leadership

We’ve seen the likes of Sir Richard Branson, Tony Fernandez, Bill Gates and many other CEOs successfully represent their companies. In an already saturated industry, consumers are looking for more than just USPs, and that’s where thought leadership comes into play. The importance of having a human touch is more important now than ever. By aiming to become a thought leader in your industry and or area of practice, you have the chance to gather the attention and trust of your target audience.

The best part about thought leadership is that it applies to all industries. There are variety of ways to achieve thought leader status; host webinars, join industry roundtables, publish articles and blog posts and stay active on the relevant social media channels.

3. Influencer Marketing

It is no secret that the world has shifted in favour of…social media. And influencer marketing presents an opportunity for brands to leverage the power of word-of-mouth marketing through personalities that consumers already follow and admire. A 2010 study by McKinsey found that marketing-induced consumer-to-consumer word of mouth generates more than twice the sales of paid advertising. And of those that were acquired through word-of-mouth had a 37 percent higher retention rate, according to the study.

Start by researching who are the influencers – YouTubers, Instagrammers, Snapchat experts and Pinterest-lover – that your target audience follow. Choosing the right influencer is key as your brand will be associated with them so be sure that their style and branding is aligned with yours.

4. Going Digital

Digital disruption is present in most industries, even in PR. We are moving from drafting traditional press releases and media collaterals to more innovative means of reaching out. The role of PR Professionals is expanding to include

  • Writing social media profiles, eg. Linked In, Twitter, Facebook, etc.…
  • Conducting webinars
  • Representing the company’s culture in various platforms

Social media is inevitable when ‘Going Digital’. As the industry continues to evolve, so does the expectations and KPIs. Social media marketing tools will continue to grow in importance when it comes to running a PR campaigns. This includes, Facebook promoted posts, Twitter promoted tweets, LinkedIn sponsored posts, Instagram sponsored post and Snapchat stories.

5. Digital Tools

We have seen an increase in brands and companies that are becoming more supportive of new media – namely, Social Media, Bloggers, Vloggers and Online Portals. The question is, how do you measure the value, what do you measure and how do you collate all these new media efficiently?

With the help of digital tools, marketers and publicists are able to efficiently find, measure and analyse content for their clients at the click of a finger.

Like what you read? Follow us on Facebook for more stories.