Shilpa R

Introduction

Image is a key element of brand awareness because it influences whether potential customers recognise, like, and believe you. Where a brand has no control over media exposure, public relations (PR) is an efficient method to contribute to the discussion.

PR is a shortened form for "public relations," and it refers to a company's key communication with the public in order to sustain or cultivate a public image and/or react to public discourse.

What are the benefits of public relations?

The benefits of public relations include:

  • Influence - Viewers are more inclined to trust messages from an independent perspective than texts paid for by advertisers. It is one of the most reliable and persuasive promotional methods.
  • Reach - A great story can be picked up by a number of news outlets, revealing your message to a large audience.
  • Cost-effectiveness - When compared to paid-for advertising media placement, PR can be a more cost-effective way to reach a large audience, especially if done in-house.

What are the challenges of public relations?

Some of the challenges of public relations include:

  • No direct control - Unlike advertising, you have no direct control over how your company is portrayed in the media, when your message appears, and where it appears.
  • No guarantee results - you can spend time and money writing a press release, getting appropriate photography, and speaking with journalists, but there is no guarantee that your story will be published. This can lead to a low return on investment.
  • Evaluation - Measuring the effectiveness of public relations activities can be difficult. You can track media mentions and published stories, but determining the impact on your audience is more difficult.

PR Trends Shaping the Industry in 2022 

1. Coming out of the Traditional Shell

Though preserving media relations and traditional PR content will continue to be important in our industry, modern PR professionals will be expected to manage a much broader range of responsibilities than in previous years. PR will no longer be a press release generation machine, but rather a content creation partner. It will collaborate with the media partners as a content partner, identifying and contributing positively to good news stories.

2. In the loop with Social Media Marketing

Planning a Media & PR strategy will always have a significant impact if it is also well promoted on Social Media Platforms. These days, we deliberately focus on digital PR alongside traditional PR because digital media always helps a brand grow massively on the internet.

Custom practices based on audience insights and clients' vision and expectations are recommended for better results. Customized services for brand awareness, media coverage, online engagement, and sales conversion will be prioritised by integrating Public Relations, Social Media, Brand Consultation, and Digital Marketing.

According to a recent poll, 46 per cent of people believe that companies should take more responsibility for their role in society, and 55 per cent believe that they are more likely to make a purchase from a company that demonstrates empathy.

Brands that have not clearly communicated the social values that are important to them must do so immediately if their PR efforts in 2022 are to be successful.

Most buyers are no longer willing to give brands the benefit of the doubt. They want to know that the companies they work with are putting in the effort to live up to the values they profess, even when it's inconvenient.

 

3. PR content must be culturally relevant 

Companies should certainly continue to focus their public relations strategy on staying top-of-mind, but staying appropriate is more important nowadays. Every piece of public relations content should be relevant to the current issues and a culture's ethos.

"Cancel culture" is certainly a buzzword these days, but it also applies to public relations. Every brand and business must be culturally relevant, which means keeping up with current events and allowing cultural values to inform how you choose to portray your company online.

According to an Ernst & Young survey, customers are concentrating their spending patterns on businesses that share their beliefs and make a contribution to the greater good.

 

 4.  Personalized Pitching

According to a recent study, individual emails are the most effective channel for pitching journalists, and 96% of PR professionals. According to this statistic, the days of sending out pitches and mass emailing are over, and the future of pitching is all about personalization for the journalist you're contacting.

Reporters receive hundreds of pitches per day, so you must find ways to cut through the clutter. Regardless of how relevant or timely a pitch is, cultivating relationships with journalists and learning their skill sets will increase your hit rate.

   

5.  Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion will be a major focus

As many as 70% of consumers, a 66 per cent growth from 2017, want brands to take a principled stand on social issues. Because the public relations industry is progressing alongside the social landscape, constructing core values for a client will be a priority in the future. Consumers expect companies to take authentic stances on certain social issues in light of recent social movements, and prominent brands such as Ben & Jerry's, Nike, and Airbnb have led the charge on this front.

Businesses that lack clear policies on diversity and inclusion, on the other hand, risk falling behind their rivals. Increased emphasis on diversity, equity, and participation is not only necessary for equity but also improves profitability and overall performance. According to a McKinsey study, companies that embrace diversity see a 19% increase in revenue and a 35% performance advantage.

 

6. Readers want authenticity more than ever, especially as fake news has increased. 

With fake news spreading at an astonishing speed and infiltrating every element of media, viewers are acutely aware of two factors:

  1. Anything that appears to be insincere or "off"
  2. The rage and frustration that comes from being duped

Validity has been a buzz phrase since social media enabled consumers and buyers to interact directly with the brands out of which they purchase, but it has taken on new meaning since 2020.

 

Conclusion

The public relations field is unquestionably different today than it was in 2000, and it will change even more by 2025. Understanding these industry trends will help you prepare for what's to come and improve your public relations strategies in the coming year.

With the economy suffering a significant setback as a result of the lockdown, every brand wants to be visible in such a way that they stand out from the competition. Every brand, whether established or new, has one goal after achieving success: to inform the rest of the world about it. Brand Consultants and Public Relations Managers play a significant role in helping any brand grow and change the game. Gone are the times when regular public relations was the only way to promote a brand.


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