In an age where consumers are bombarded by messages, PR has become an even more important way for businesses to stand out from the pack of slick advertisements. Come 2016, you can be sure that the competition for good PR will be more fierce than ever. This month, we bring you five of the top PR trends in the upcoming year that you must be aware of so that you can stand head and shoulders above your competitors. Don’t forget: you saw these here first!
Thanks to social media, lines between the domain of PR in traditional earned media and that of content in owned media have been increasingly blurred. Consequently, PR professionals will be seeing plenty of crossing-over between the two in the upcoming year as they tap on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn to both reach out to journalists and further amplify their messages on earned media channels.
Huffington Post, an online news aggregator and blog based in the United States of America, is an example of the blurring of lines between earned and owned media. Other than providing its readers with news stories from around the world that its writers have picked up via more traditional pitches and sources, it has also been publishing its own content such as quick and easy recipe videos, both on its own blogs and news site, and on its social media accounts like Facebook.
- Thought leadership
Thought leaders are considered to be experts in their fields, and their opinions carry a lot of weight. As people turn more to brand relationships to make buying decisions, trusted thought leaders naturally become more important, being a credible and esteemed source of information. People will also want to communicate with thought leaders in discussions about their thoughts, so when positioning an individual or a company as a thought leader, he or she should be relatable as much as knowledgeable.
We at Affluence PR practise exactly this. We are thought leaders in PR and are rightly proud to be so! We publish our own carefully curated blogs and eBooks to share opinions on and insights into what we love – PR. Check out our other blog HERE and download our eBooks HERE.
- Online reputation management
It is now so common for everyone to simply do a quick search on the Internet when presented with new information. Time-pressed journalists do this increasingly, which therefore makes your company’s presence online all the more important. What your company says about itself on its website and social media channels; what others are saying about your company; the content owned by your company – all these matter deeply. You want to make sure that these are all managed carefully, so that any search of your company would turn up positive and meaningful results, which would increase your chances of getting more PR in terms of coverage.
Yet another aspect to managing your company’s reputation online is in dealing with complaints and feedback online. With many customers taking to social media to vent their frustrations and share their feedback, you must know that time, precision and the right approach are your new best friends when dealing with this animal. This is where PR professionals will be worth every penny as you need to get the “right” approach to handling customers on social media right at first try. Many examples of failed attempts abound, such as the responses American Airlines and British Airways gave their customers over Twitter: American Airlines had provided generic, canned responses to every tweet about them, showing that they simply aren’t even reading the feedback; while British Airways’ response about their Twitter feed being active only during business hours sounds absurd for an airline that operates round-the-clock.
Image credit: GetSpokal
In short, there is no separating the digital world from the realm of traditional media anymore. PR professionals need to constantly scan and manage your online image and reputation on all fronts.
- Paid promotion on digital channels
With content being so readily available, it is easy for your company’s content and PR messages to get buried under the onslaught of products and services that seem similar. While buying space on media platforms places such efforts in the realms of marketing and distances itself from traditional public relations, where coverage is earned and never bought, the game is slightly different these days. PR practitioners may want to consider investing some of that budget into paying for prime space on social media channels to ultimately amplify content and help fuel PR efforts. This comes back to the blurring of lines between traditional media and social media, and what can we say: the lines will only become more porous in 2016.
- More than just the traditional press release
Crafting a sharp press release to get journalists and news outlets to pay attention to your product and company used to be the modus operandi for PR practitioners to get publicity for companies. Not anymore. While the traditional press release is still an important aspect in PR in helping journalists know the important points they need to write a story about you, it is simply not enough to just rely on it anymore. Good PR professionals know this, and will embrace new ways to get their stories out, too. PR requires an integrated approach now, comprising PR events, tapping on social media as well as producing digital content to disseminate the entirety of the product experience to journalists and news outfits.
More than ever, PR is becoming an arena that requires professionals to stay right on top of their game. Whether it is by turning to new ways to get journalists to bite the pitch, working to put out good content that amplifies PR messages, becoming well-versed in various media channels and platforms and staying plugged into what the online world is saying – PR professionals are more essential than ever to your business’s success. We at Affluence PR know this all too well. We are a PR agency based in Singapore and are experts in PR management for upscale retail establishments in Asia. Check us out HERE.