PR Trends: What Will Shape the Public Relations Industry in 2020?

Whats-Next

Change is constant, and everything in life and business is subject to change. Well, the public relations industry hasn't been left behind. With the disruptions and adoption of new technology in various sectors, PR pros should anticipate what is to come.

Many a time, PR pros have predicted that agencies will go back to the basics. This was corroborated by the fact that some agencies have thrived after ditching influencers and embracing traditional PR. While this may the case, it is only the half-truth. So, what does that mean for PR in 2020?

Here are 6 PR trends in 2020 that should help you look forward to the future of the industry.

1. Analytics 

If you have been discarding or underestimating data interpretation, now is the time to re-evaluate your stand. The world has gone digital, and for that alone, data analysis is a must. Every PR professional will require this skill to be used as part of the eventual measure of PR value.

Data interpretation is useful in guiding agency efforts and measuring the impact PR pros are making. There will be a need for you to adapt to smarter and engaging efforts in 2020 particularly since consumers are becoming more perceptive of the various types of advertising.

PR efforts in 2020 will be determined by precise and comprehensive analytics, all of which change the way marketing campaigns are created, carried out, and evaluated.

2.  Specialized PR

A wave of disruptions has hit the contemporary world. Businesses have been forced to evolve, so like consumers who are today discerning of myriad aspects of marketing. This trend has also compelled the PR industry to reconsider other approaches to doing business.

Today, companies have taken it upon themselves to ensure that they choose the right PR agency to represent their business. This, they do for they know that it is an important step in taking their brand to the next level, and this is where specialized PR comes in.

Specialized PR is one of the trends that some agencies will adopt. Choosing a specific niche is one way of offering the best quality PR service and when PR pros truly understand the business of their clients, they can easily weigh in on strategic and worthy decision making.

In 2020, we can expect PR professionals to be put under pressure to aid in marketing, and this will propel them towards becoming hyper-focused on a specific industry.

3. Interactive Content

This year, the PR industry will realize a shift in content creation to mainly focus on storytelling. The age of the press release and op-eds isn't dead yet. Well, PR agencies have often deluged journalists with press releases that take less than a minute to go through them. While press releases will still be effective, they probably will be used scarcely and through the proper channels.

What will be used more now that the world has gone digital, is storytelling. Storytelling stems from quality and original work, which all clients want. This type of content goes a long way in engaging the consumer as well as stakeholders and is invaluable for cultivating lasting relationships with journalists.

PR pros are responsible for translating clients' objectives and goals into small bits of information that consumers understand. By creating and compiling a good story via the proper promotional channels, the quality content you present will find its way to the right audience.

Moreover, while creating meaningful engagements, every PR pitch, story, or any other type of communication in both a B2B and B2C environment needs the human touch. Today the most appealing stories are those that take emotion as a focus. This is so because to remain relevant, you need content that people can relate to.

PR pros in 2020, will need content that cuts to the chase, which is why content strategists and digital marketing strategist with a sharp knowledge on crafting such content will become an integral part of the team more than ever. This way, the industry will be more equipped to fight with the masses on the type of content that wins consumers.

It is worth noting that content marketing will be hellbent on what works, and that is giving people what they really want. This dictates that virtual reality, gamified polls, captivating online events, and buyable posts will be the order of the day. In this type of an interactive content explosion, all you must do is keep the consumer closer to you, for if you ignore, you can bet that your competitors will win.

4. Voice Content, Earned and Owned Media 

As content evolution and the way brands engage with consumers continue to evolve, something else will be adapted for the digital media – earned and owned media. In 2020, PR pros will be pushed into finding ways on how to integrate earned and owned media beyond the news feed. This is backed up by a recent report of the world's top 100 brands which revealed that the main feed has been overtaken by stories.

You can always count that in 2020, well-thought-out PR and social media plans that incorporate a variety of paid organic content will be used, and that includes voice content. Take, for instance, Alexa, a virtual assistant AI developed by Amazon, sold over 100 million units as announced in January 2019. What's interesting is that people have adapted these virtual home assistants to consume news and to shop.

Drawing from that example, PR pros will have to anticipate an increase in the use of voice search units like Alexa, Siri, Google Assistant among others. While at it, you should highly ensure that earned media wins with voice content or podcasts as it is called. This type of content facilitates easy knowledge of the industry in a precise manner far from enhancing thought leadership content that builds authority within the public relations industry. 

5. PR Pitch 

Due to the adoption of storytelling as opposed to old methods of presenting information, PR pros in 2020 will need to provide more than just the typical press pitch. Pitching will, more than ever, put into consideration all aspects of the clients' digital and social footprint.

PR professionals will guide their buyers regarding the best content that they require to reach audiences across all channels of transmission. Storytelling in PR pitching, therefore, makes the fastest way of achieving results that elevate brand exposure while supporting the marketing and sales objectives.

6. Influencer Shakeup

Influencers have, for the past few years been making hundreds of thousands of cash doing what they do, but the one question that has always lingered is whether the investment is worth it. The year 2020 could be a game-changer. There will no longer be falsified engagement and buying of likes simply because consumers are nowadays wary of influencers who represent brands that aren't authentic to them.

As a matter of fact, clients and other brand managers have increasingly sought to verify influencers while tracking ROI. This has also forced them to adjust their media shuffles accordingly. As a result, we can expect to see brand managers hiring more micro-influencers as opposed to macro-influencers.

​ Well, as is the case with playing fantasy football, anyone would tell you that making a correct prediction is almost impossible; however, the above 6 PR trends should give you enough knowledge on what to anticipate in 2020.

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Saturday, 24 October 2020