By: Mary McFarland
In a day and age where media dominates, the field of public relations (PR) is continuously evolving. There are always new trends and best practices on the rise, and it is vital for small businesses, large corporations and everyone in between to stay up to date.
The most considerable and discussed shift in public relations that we have continued to see this year is its increased connection with content marketing. According to the article “7 PR Trends That Will Help You Prepare For 2019,” author John Hall briefly touches on this topic. He states that, “One of the most important changes that’s happened in public relations over the years is the mentality shift away from self-promotion at your audience’s expense” (Hall, 2018). He goes on to explain that consumers look for businesses and brands to add value to them in some way. This is where content marketing comes in, as its core motivation is to educate and make its audience aware of something through a brand’s services. Essentially, this alignment between content marketing and PR adds value to both the business and the consumer. An article from Babel, a full-service Ad/PR Agency, puts it this way: “In 2019, as many brands review budgets for PR, marketing and advertising, and agencies’ client briefs become more diverse, these three disciplines will become even more tightly intertwined” (Babel, 2019).
Another trend that we have seen in public relations this year is an even greater push to understand and utilize analytics. Data is constantly available, but analyzing that data and curating new strategy from it is what’s most important. According to Pressfarm, “To tell compelling narratives to the target market, important data has to be collected and scrutinized” (Oliynyk, 2019). Fortunately, many monitoring and listening services provide monthly analytics for businesses. One of the most popular is Hootsuite, which specifically focuses on social media data interpretation. Many of their services are free, but they also have plans for purchase as well.
The last trend that we have seen in 2019 and many years prior is the need for crisis communication. In our media-driven world, we have a 24/7 news cycle. The time in which information is spread nationally and globally is shorter than ever, and public relations specialists must have crisis communication plans on deck. These plans must include a detailed strategy and provide appropriate staffing for potential crises. Babel also touched on this topic and stated that an increase in crisis communications staffing would be a significant part of PR in 2019 (Babel, 2019).
Many PR trends are, in part, a result of increased global interconnectivity via media, but they are all rooted in ethics—the need for audiences to have value added to them through an organization or business, the need to manage fear or worry in consumers as a result of crises and the idea of using analytics to understand an individual’s wants and desires. Implementing these trends in years following will guarantee a more successful agency and happier consumers.
Hall, J. (2018, December 23). 7 PR trends that will help you prepare for 2019. Retrieved from https://www.inc.com/john-hall/7-pr-trends-that-should-be-on-your-radar-in-2019.html
The Future of Public Relations: 10 PR trends for 2019. (2019, September 23). Retrieved from https://babelpr.com/blog/10-pr-trends-for-2019/
9 Emerging Trends For Modern Public Relations in 2019. (2019, July 31). Retrieved from https://press.farm/emerging-trends-modern-public-relations/