There are supposedly as many trends to watch as experts you ask. There are about 1,000 PR professionals working at member agencies in PRGN. For your convenience, here we present only the five most important trends that will shape the year 2020.
- Placing results of PR activities into a purchasing funnel
PR experts will increasingly use the effects of their own actions as a tool to change the thinking and actions of specific stakeholders. Many PR specialists still treat a media article as a result of their actions. The best PR specialists see something more in it: another tool.
Because the work does not end with the article. A good article can be used in a well-crafted purchase path. After all, the role of PR does not end with building awareness and interest. It extends, for example, to customer experience after the purchase.
Clever specialists will, therefore, treat say a product review as a way to educate consumers on the use of the product to help build an after-purchase experience. In today’s world, almost every product involves some new technology. Many consumers need to be educated on how to deal with such technology. Few people read manuals. Therefore, press articles can help build, for example, the ability to use the product and provide a better user experience.
- Research and analysis
PR specialists will know more. Never before has the world rushed so fast. A journalist doesn’t have time to get involved in irrelevant matters. What counts are hard facts, figures, specific or expert knowledge. Unfortunately, not all clients are able to provide such value to the media – or even to their agencies. Lack of compelling content becomes visible through non-interesting press releases, and comments and opinions on them. Lack of specifics and true insights can kill an otherwise great subject.
Therefore, PR pros will have to rely increasingly on research and analysis carried out by themselves and their teams. This way communication teams will become self-sufficient when it comes to content generation and they will have ammunition, which has been lacking for years.
And as this trend continues, PR agencies and teams will soon become their own think tanks. Developing such in-house knowledge base will soon pay off for those taking this path: knowledge-based communication, using specific numbers and insights will translate into better communications results and more power to change perceptions – the real goal of every PR activity.
- Story building
We all love Hollywood movies. The key to the success of directors and screenwriters is their ability to build a good story. The one that grabs your heart and sticks in your memory. Often for all of our lives.
Exactly the same principles will be followed by the smartest of PR specialists. Facts and figures from research will only enhance the effect, as they will prove the well-written thesis.
The stories will be strategic. Long-term strategies will be based on them. Individual activities will have to tell some or all of the story. Non-stop. Consistently.
- Relationships with people
What PR specialists are really great at is building and maintaining relationships with people. Over the last 10-15 years, business has been shaken by the world of online and social media and for many managers it has meant a distance from direct contact with people (read clients, consumers, partners and stakeholders).
Therefore, many companies will notice the lack of personal relationships that affect their business success. PR specialists will be hired increasingly to rectify this problem.
- Even more audio
Furthermore, a renaissance of direct meetings and voice calls awaits us, while the use of audio-based technologies and formats will spread. There is no point in writing about voice calls in communication apps. It is rather obvious. However, what will weigh more and more in the arsenal of PR specialists are podcasts. Why? Because it is a tool that is an edutainment on demand. Hitting through podcasters or creating your own podcasts will be a strong trend of 2020.
This was my compilation of the most important trends for the year ahead. Leave a comment and let me know if you agree or disagree. What other trends do you see in 2020?