Whether an industry giant or a newbie, every brand has one target to success – to let the whole world know about their brand. Adding to this are the massive cultural shifts society has been experiencing over the last couple of years, from social justice movements to the pandemic, to the rising climate crisis, which has significantly changed when we work, where we work, how we work, and what matters the most while we work. So it’s safe to say that it has been a transformational time in our industry.
As we head into a new year, most of us wonder: What will 2022 bring? Read on to find out which PR trends will be the game changers of 2022 and how your business can obtain the perfect balance in the ever-changing economic environment:
Personal Branding: #1 PR Strategy
The idea of personal branding will become synonymous with PR in particular. With the right planning and prowess, building a personal brand will be one of the most useful weapons in your PR arsenal. To foster connections online, marketers will need to craft a personal brand that people can interact with. In addition, thought leadership is critical for the C-suite; a company will thrive when its leaders show up consistently online and offer valuable content to the industry.
Studies have found that content shared by actual people within a company receives 8x more engagement than content shared by the brand itself. Thus, the value of personal branding through PR cannot be exaggerated. The personal brand depends on the reactions a person causes in the audience they connect with. It is a tool of the PR field as it comes from a strategic plan for obtaining a communication stream that allows positioning.
Quantifying Metrics for PR Performance
PR professionals must be open to formulating new strategies that closely align with a business environment that requires data-driven insights. The indirect impact will be measured via metrics like Awareness, Engagement, and Reputation.
- Awareness: The first step in growing a business is building its awareness. This can be measured through an expanded customer base, potential for word-of-mouth/referrals, or expansion into other markets/regions.
- Engagement: Understanding the audience’s behaviour can help determine which PR output generates interest in your business. PR pros can evaluate through active vs. passive audience, warm leads, marketing qualified leads, etc.
- Reputation: You can determine if you’ve established a reputation that won’t be easily shaken with any negative reviews by measuring influence on customer choices, ability to charge a premium, credibility, trust, and goodwill among audience and customers.
Exclusive Media Pitching
Learning how to tell a well-researched, unique and concisely-worded story with a personalised pitch will go a long way and improve your hit rate by cultivating relationships with journalists and learning their areas of expertise. A study shows that 96% of PR professionals say individual emails are the most effective channel for pitching, suggesting that the future of pitching is all about personalisation for the journalist you’re contacting.
Just like personalising your pitches, it will be important to tailor your pitch by the medium as well. For example, pitching for TV is quite different from pitching for radio or even pitching for podcasts. Creating personalised media relations pitches will involve more than just a cursory understanding of journalists’ editorial guidelines. Engage with them pre-pitch, follow their work and write compelling emails.
There is rapidly growing awareness across industries that PR will need to take Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I) seriously and actively support initiatives that root out systemic bias and discrimination within organisations. Integrating diverse opinions while solving problems will be an invaluable superpower that most businesses will begin to harness. So not only will focusing on DE&I be good for business, but it’ll also be good for your brand image.
You will possess the power to become change agents and inspire people to take action. A study found that businesses that embrace diversity experience a 19% increase in revenue and a 35% performance advantage. The increased emphasis on diversity, equity, and inclusion will not only necessarily be from an equitability standpoint, but it will also increase profitability and overall performance.
Culturally-Relevant PR Content
In today’s global economy, marketing and advertising companies will need to aim at developing culturally-sensitive content that resonates with their target audience. Being culturally aware will help your business in the long run when leaving a good impression to seize potential PR opportunities for the future to elevate your brand awareness.
Businesses will need to ensure that the PR content aligns both with the brand’s core messaging as well as with prospects’ cultural expectations and focus on how they’re contributing to the greater global narrative. Considering the global upscaling potential of content on the internet, cultural awareness strategies have to be thought through, incorporated at the strategy level, and adapted from the start of PR campaigns.
Consumers online are more brand aware and wish to know that they are spending their money to support a brand doing good things for their employees and the world. With continuous change being an unavoidable fact of life, PR firms will need to remain skillful to support businesses and deliver them with the best recommendations for ultimate visibility. Therefore, trend monitoring is more valuable than ever for PR professionals in this new world. So follow the pointers above and witness a surge in all your PR marketing efforts.