As we enter 2022, now is a great time to look back on how public relations evolved during the course of this unique year. Over the years, public relations has become far more than just press releases. PR is now an integrated culmination of branding, strategy, content creation, digital marketing and more.
Now more than ever, it’s important to stay up to date on current trends, highlighting the PR elements that flourished in 2021 and the elements that will be here to stay. Ahead of what’s to come in this ever-changing industry, we’ve detailed four PR trends we believe will be with us for many years to come.
1. Virtual Events
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the question of “Is it virtual or in-person?” has been a common topic of conversation. In the early days of quarantining and social distancing, online conferences, happy hours and events were created out of dire need. Over time, the hidden value of virtual events has surfaced. Virtual events have proven to increase attendee count, expand geographical reach, and save time and money for attendees and hosts overall.
While we all wish we could network and spend time with others in person, this unique change in connectivity has allowed companies to revolutionize how they engage with the world. Looking ahead, virtual events and webinars create more opportunities to interact with those who are unable to travel, come from different backgrounds and reside in untouched markets. It’s clear online trade shows, virtual summits and hybrid exhibitions are here to stay – and for a surprisingly good reason!
2. Nontraditional Mediums
Technology is innovating at a rapid pace, and those who ignore recent advancements to online communication may miss out on connecting with their modern targeted audiences. While press releases and pitches are tried-and-true ways to tell stories, companies that leverage nontraditional mediums can reach even more consumers, stakeholders and journalists.
With tools like Facebook Live and IGTV, brands can quickly share breaking news and announce new products across the digital sphere. Social media contests can increase visibility and build engagement in far-away markets. LinkedIn blogs can reach high-level employees and decision-makers who are online searching for new services. These tools, combined with PR, can take a story’s reach further and wider.
3. Personalized Pitches
In a recent Muck Rack study, 96% of PR professionals say individual emails to journalists are the most effective channel for pitching. At MAPR, we’re firm believers of personalized media lists with unique emails to each writer. Mass emails are unproductive and, to be frank, are unprofessional to send. Since journalists receive heaps of pitches per day, it’s crucial to find unique ways to shine through and connect with the person behind the screen. The best way to get writers and reporters interested in a story is working to build lasting relationships, following the pieces they’ve written and conveying how your story works well in tandem with theirs.
4. Corporate Social Responsibility
Like public relations, our social climate is continuing to evolve. This increased focus on corporate social responsibility benefits generations to come and will be a priority for PR moving forward. More than ever, consumers and stakeholders are expecting companies to adequately share their authentic views and values. Furthermore, individuals are choosing to support companies that speak out for the audiences, communities and markets they service. Staying mute on important world issues can bring forth disadvantages to not only a business but to society as a whole. Brands that establish core values and embed them within their corporate practices will be ahead of the curve, and for good cause.
To summarize, PR is changing just as quickly as the world around us. Recent years have shown we must be fluid, proactive and innovative in our public relations practices to keep up. If you need help keeping up with the ever-evolving PR space to effectively tell your story, let us know how we can help!