PR Trends to Look for in 2018

PR Trends to Look for in 2018 150 150 David Farrow

Over the years, we have seen a number of PR and Marketing trends come and go. If you want your business to grow and thrive, it is important to stay up to date. Adapting to these trends will keep you savvy and sophisticated in a competitive market. So, what should we look out for in the New Year? I compiled a list of the top 5 industry trends expected for 2018.

Check it out!

1. Brand Reputation Will Hold Even More Weight in 2018

As Taylor Swift said, “Big Reputation, Big Reputation,” brand reputation is your business’ most valuable asset. If you have a positive track record, your customers will trust you and refer you through word of mouth. Customers depend a lot on what the media says about a brand, even if it is not true, so it is important to build a positive relationship with the media before catastrophe strikes. 2018 is expected to bring more brand crises than ever before and because of this, many brands are going to feel an urge to express socially good messages—but giving in to that urge is not always a good thing. Brands are going to have to be very careful about sounding inauthentic in attempt to thwart future bad press. Instead, build up your brand’s reputation slowly but steadily and only send out messages that you feel authentically represent your image.

2. Think Outside the Box when it comes to Media Relations

What will happen to newsrooms in 2018? Many full-time journalists are going to lose their jobs, which means there will be less people with deep resources and experience. This industry change means media professionals need to work on being more creative to get their stories told and decide which channels to do that through. Today journalists are there are under immense pressure to pump out headlines in order to gain clicks and shares. They must resort to picking up disagreeable news stories that offer shallow content with a lack of fact-checking resources. Journalists are covering stories that are not necessarily their beat, so it makes promoting your brand to the right person even harder. (Source)

Because traditional media is dying, we need to adopt different tactics in order to stay current. For example: Influencer Marketing. (See below)

3. The Evolution of Influencer Marketing

New forms of media give rise to a new breed of influencers. Whether it be opinion leaders, experts, ambassadors, creators, celebrities, activists, or healthcare professionals…the purpose remains the same. Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat are where these influencers thrive.  Media relations has shifted from pitching traditional media to working with these individuals across all forms of media.

Influencers provide a means of building trust with specific communities through third party storytelling. They are best used for their ability to create relationships through compelling content, rather than their reach. PR companies seek to negotiate with influencers and build long term relationships, whereas marketing wants to buy access to audiences at scale in the same way you’d buy media space.

If you want to stay ahead of the game, investigate and build relationships with the influencers in your industry. (Source)

4. Use Story-Telling as a Means of Engagement

(Photo Credit)

Do you want to stand out? Start with a great story.

The human brain is hardwired to remember stories in lieu of facts. Do not throw out data and numbers in a pitch to promote your product/brand. We cannot lose sight of creativity. This is the key to good story-telling, along with content of course. Yet these are frequently overlooked elements when it comes to public relations. Communicating these complex messages successfully will help to cut through a cluttered media environment.

5. Outsource Effectively

With so many different types of PR requiring different skills and strategies, it’s impossible for an internal team to be experts at everything. Be open to partnering with specialty companies who can help provide your client the best, honing in on their wants, interests, and needs. You can always learn new things, but when your internal team is flooded with other clients, it is best to reach out to specialty firms for support. (Source)