Public relations can seem exiting, glamorous and even mysterious. But, in our experience, it pays to keep your story rooted in fact and strongly supported by reliable documentation whenever possible.
Many brands have complicated and questionable histories. When you set out on your promotional journey to get good press, make sure to pack all those genuine and concise facts to about your company to feed your public. No one likes to eat fake news. It just doesn’t taste good or digest well. So keep your message simple and clean.
Public Relations Trends
There are a host of new trends in public relations. For the most part, companies should take these two facts into consideration when setting forth a plan:
- An average individual’s attention span is only 8 seconds.
- There are more than 1.2 billion individuals with access to the web, directly from their cellphones.
Public relations is all about making your brand known and gaining support by a specific client base. No matter what it is you make or offer, you will only be able to satisfy so many people. Some people don’t need it, don’t want it, or don’t like it – no matter what it is. Exceptions to this may be air I suppose but even if you offered air, some people would just take the free stuff. The point is, you can’t please everyone so just focus your efforts a specific market – your public.
Trying to keep up with these facts and change accordingly can put tremendous pressure on PR activities. Society and social media have created hyper-focused segmentation of the audience. PR must adapt to realize that no target market exists forever; brands and clients instead address dozens or hundreds of micro-audiences in their communications. With a limited amount of time to get the message across to billions of people, the public relations job is only getting harder. This is why it now calls for innovation.
Greater Focus on Online Visibility
With the start of the digital PR industry back around 2011, everything has shifted to the World Wide Web. In 2012, when Google launched its algorithm updates (Penguin and Panda), it reshaped the way SEO marketing was done. Today, very few companies offer PR without also offering digital marketing of some kind. There seems to always be this combination of PR and marketing services. It is safe to say that by the end of 2019, Public Relations will have evolved into a field that is more closely related to marketing than traditional PR. With a primary focus on the aspects of digital marketing and digital PR, the main focus is more about being present on the internet and being “online visible” than letting potential customers know about your product and services.
As we progress through 2019 and beyond, digital communications and public relations are shaping online platforms and establishing brands and businesses for all to see. With greater and greater focus on online platforms and accounts, your presence in these areas is no longer optional. You must establish yourself online to build your reputation and thus your brand.
New Tools to Master
Mastering PR involves knowing your customer’s needs and delivering a service or product that meets their demand. Once that’s done, tracking the information to fine-tune your next campaign is imperative.
As PR shifts primarily to online platforms, it evolves and the tools to manage it are developed and offered to pros and public alike. With evolution comes new tools to analyze your audience and learn about your customers.
Today, there are tools designed to know almost everything about your customer – down to their preferences, online habits and everything in between. You can locate customers, define your niche, learn their tendencies and design your ad to be delivered at the most effective time to the right customer. And once your message has been delivered, you can track results, coverage, links, shares and views.
Tools like Coverage Book make this process super easy and provide a great service for the PR pro.
Another tool I love to use is Followerwonk to help increase social graph and attract more traffic to my websites.
Having the right tool for the job makes life easier. Mastering those tools will improve your PR and online presence.
The Future of Public Relations Powered by Artificial Intelligence
We all know that AI and machine learning technologies are infiltrating many aspects of our lives. For those who work in tech PR, AI has not yet radically changed the way they do business, though it has affected who they do business with. From analytics to supply-chain software, most services are now steering towards AI to achieve greater productivity.
In the context of PR, let’s look at the below to understand the possibilities of AI-Powered media relations:
- An AI tool could be used to virtually “meet” with a new client to understand their media requirements. This tool could address queries intelligently and may help inspire confidence in the client to proceed with their account.
- An AI tool could be used to look through all the potential influencers. It could help ascertain which ones would be receptive to a pitch and whose coverage would add significant value to a client’s business.
AI Powered Public Relations may also help us measure the impact of what we do – from media placement to the full brand reputation of a client.
Journalists are beginning to use AI solutions to read pitches, generate story ideas, and gauge what their audiences want to read.
Hey Google/Alexa/Siri, how will PR change in 2020?