As the name ‘public relations’ suggests, PR is all about how you, as a business, communicate with your stakeholders. That includes a range of people, from customers, employees and partners to journalists, politicians and the general public.
But what is effective PR? It’s all about building your company’s credibility and increasing awareness about what you do. While these PR objectives are unlikely to change as time goes on, the way that you achieve them will.
PR is ever-changing, and it’s important to keep up with the trends so that your business can adapt to them.
Go back 10 years, and the role of the average PR would be quite different to what it is today. Go forward another 10 years and it will be different again. In fact, a recent Muckrack survey found 73% of PRs said that today’s definition of ‘public relations’ won’t describe the work they’re doing in five years.
As we head towards the end of the year, it’s the ideal time to reassess the PR landscape. How are public relations viewed today? What are the opportunities for PR in 2022?
In this guide to PR for 2022, we look at how to adapt and move with the times.
How social media is changing PR
It doesn’t take a professional PR to tell you that social media has made the biggest impact on the business. For a start, social platforms encourage businesses to show a different side. The PR plan needs to consider how to show the brand’s personality and reveal what life is like behind the scenes.
But it’s also changed the pace of how PR operates. Gone are the days of issuing a press release and waiting for coverage. Nowadays, PR needs to be always-on, agile and responsive. Being alert to trending topics and influential posters is now equally as important as a good contact list.
Kinds of public relations for 2022
So, what kinds of public relations should you focus on in the coming year? Here’s a rundown of the activities currently at the cutting edge of PR.
PR is all about a good story, but to be convincing this must be backed up by credible data. This is ever-more important in the technical age, where facts (both real and fake) are available in an instant.
The role of social media monitoring and analytics tool is becoming integral to the PR’s job description. This will become even more vital for monitoring the success of campaigns, reporting back to clients and generating new, exciting story ideas.
A new way of issuing press releases
With so many advances in technology affecting how to do PR, it was only a matter of time before our attention turned to press releases.
If emailing out press releases feels a little out of date, get ready to start sending out social media press releases. These have already been adopted by many organisations around the globe. They involve sending out information that’s easy to share, linkable and rich in multimedia.
A new way of pitching
Just as press releases are getting a makeover, it’s also time to re-evaluate our approach to pitching.
In 2022, there’ll be no more cutting and pasting – it’s all about personal pitching. As the name suggests, this is about taking time to study the person and publication you’re pitching to.
In a recent study by Muckrack, 96% of PRs said that individual emails are the most effective means for pitching journalists. Tweaking your pitch so that it’s more relevant to the individual will help your story rise above the rest.
The (continued) rise of influencers
Influencers are big news. Forecasts predict that influencer marketing spending in the US alone will increase by over 33% in 2021 to $3.69 billion
As a B2B company, you might well dismiss this as something that’s only relevant to consumer brands. Not so. You may not need to pay megabucks to big names, but there are still clever ways to work with influencers and build your B2B brand.
One of the best ways for B2Bs to do this is by collaborating with micro-influencers. These are the people who have smaller, more dedicated audiences, which means higher engagement.
Their followers share the same interests or work in the same industry. They often look to the micro-influencer for insights or advice and trust the information that they provide.
For more on this, read our guide on why B2Bs should include influencers in their marketing strategy.
New ways with video
We’ve all heard the stats about how video content is taking over the internet. And we only need to look at the success of new offerings on social platforms to know that this is true.
Facebook Live viewership jumped by 50% in spring this year and more than 1.25 billion people visit Facebook Watch each month. Meanwhile, Instagram has introduced its new Reels section and TikTok’s popularity shows no signs of abating. It passed its 2 billion global downloads milestone in August 2020.
So what does this all mean for the future of PR? Finding new ways to present video content is crucial. With so many different platforms for publishing videos, it pays to take a step back and work out what’s best for your business.
Where can you make the most impact? What channels are your audiences already using? Take a strategic approach or you’ll burn out trying to cover it all.
What next? Your guide to PR