There is no question: old ways of doing things do not fit the new structures. Covid has changed our lives for good and industries such as public relations need to be in a constant state of transformation in order to survive. The past few months were an acceleration turbo for many developments that had already announced in recent years. The role of traditional media has changed dramatically, the range of services has shifted and brands redefine their marketing and PR strategies. Those who have adapted well up until this point might be wondering: Where to from here? We filtered and summarized the most important trends.
CRAFTING STRATEGIES INTO THE NEW NORMAL
Our today’s chaotic environment calls more than ever for robust communication strategies. As more and more consumers expect companies to relate to social topics, companies must be ready to deliver clear answers to hard questions. An authentic, value-oriented communication is therefore in demand. Communications professionals need to understand the needs and shifts in our societies to craft and provide relevant content and narratives. Now is the time to join corporate decision makers and play an active role in shaping the new strategies into the new normal.
“Communications professionals need to understand the needs and shifts in our societies to craft and provide relevant content and narratives.”
A COMMUNICATION SPHERE WITHOUT BORDERS
Marketing, public relations, social media, influencer marketing, … The various communication industries have always worked closely together, but the division between them will now be fully disappearing as they will blend into a variety of mediums. This integrated communication is aligning your messaging across all channels. While the specific tactics and delivery will look a bit different, the message is consistent throughout all platforms.
COPYWRITERS IN DEMAND
While the creative performance of some PR experts has often been limited during the past few years – to translating and editing predefined texts, writing cover letters, captions or social media posts – real writing skills are more in demand today than ever. With the merger of individual communication departments, professionals will now become responsible for the textual concerns of all areas in the future, from advertorials to blogposts, marketing newsletters and CEO articles.
“As professionals will become responsible for the textual concerns of all areas, real writing skills are more in demand today than ever.”
EMBRACING DATA, ONLINE MARKETING AND SEO
From push to pull – which is valid in marketing already since quite some years, will now also become relevant to press and public relations. Instead of providing press releases to traditional media, communicators must additionally seek new ways, especially online. Data is collected in many ways and agencies possess information on everything from who is visiting their website, to specific demographics that can be reached on a variety of social channels. As a result, we are capable to create very targeted and trackable programs. With the Google search result page being the number one factor of visibility (and success), PR experts should become familiar with the basic principles of online marketing and SEO.
JUGGLING MULTIPLE PLATFORMS AND COMMUNITIES
While the communication predominantly shifted into the web, direct-to-consumer communication has become increasingly important. The public, once in a coherent audience easily understood, segmented and reached, has now gone largely underground, fragmenting itself into private groups and conversations on more and more platforms. Social media channels have already taken on larger roles in PR agencies and professionals must possess the required skills to meet the new challenges provided by the medium including management, analytics and: speed!
“The public, once in a coherent audience easily understood, segmented and reached, has now gone largely underground, fragmenting itself into private groups and conversations on more and more platforms.”
A PLAYGROUND FOR CREATING NEW EVENT FORMATS
Gone are the days where PR pros need attendees to RSVP and hope for a high number of them to their event. With working from home being the norm, virtual or hybrid experiences are the next big thing. Creating online events also allows you to multiply your audience as there are no physical hindrances to stop them from attending. As a communication expert, this is a good opportunity for you to create events that are customized for particular groups or individuals. Stop repeating or reviving old concepts! Events must be fully reimagined and it is time to bring creativity on the table.
CONVERTING OFFICES INTO HIGH-TECHNOLOGICALLY EQUIPPED SPACES
New work structures and content also require new environments. Since only a part of the workforce is present at the same time anyway, the surfaces become smaller, but more sophisticated and communicative. With fewer visitors now also conference and showroom disappear and are replaced by our own excellently equipped production studio. Savings for rent, stuff and (pretentious) furniture is invested in excellent (remote) technology and home office equipment for a smooth and digital exchange.
“With fewer visitors now also conference and showroom disappear and are replaced by our own excellently equipped production studio.”
FILLING IN FOR MISSING COVERAGE
The shrinking traditional media landscape makes smart communicators looking at new ways to inform audiences to help amplify their messages. Among many new platforms and channels one of the biggest opportunities comes from employee advocacy and activation. Employees are the most trusted and authentic voices for brands and bring an incredible potential of spread. It is time for PR professionals to rethink how to present content internally to engage and create brand fans who will take messages out to their families and peers.