If there is one industry that has constantly evolved along with the pace at which technology is evolving, then it is Public Relations! Since its inception, PR has always been dynamic and hard to predict. PR has donned many hats depending on the medium of communication that was relevant at a given point of time. PR has always been about storytelling, image consulting, reputation building etc. But, given the pace at which technology is reshaping all forms of communication, is PR still going to be all about just storytelling, non-advertising & image building?
Here is my take on the Future of PR
Real-Time Exchange of news: Growing number of people are turning towards Digital Media for news. Readers want real-time & responsive news stories where they are given a chance to be a part of the story through their comments, feedback or suggestions. There is going to be a shift from journalist centric news to a more consumer focused news. This obviously means that PR Professionals need to be on top of their game, keeping their eyes wide open for trends to establish relevancy between their brands & the ongoing trends to ensure they stay in the newsroom.
The Rise of a Visual Era: PR is no more only about Press Releases or Editorial Stories. For PR, the direction is now pointing towards Infographics, GIFs, Micro-Videos etc. The future demands a short & crisp story with a compelling image, a GIF or a micro-video. Visually appealing news story is going to get consumed more in comparison to a text heavy news story. For agencies it is a must to hire talents who are multi-skilled & multi-talented having the ability to double up as content creators as well as creative designers. Agencies also need to focus more on visual content through effective brainstorming sessions that can give rise to appealing visuals.
Analyze through Analytics: All of us must accept that digital media is going to be the primary source of news for millennials. Given the fact that millennials constitute the largest number of population on the internet, it is highly essential to understand what grabs the attention of these users? Do they read long articles? Do they skip advertisements? What types of influences sway their purchase decisions etc. The answer to all these questions lies in analyzing analytics. Any organization that does not heed to the power of analytics, will be at clear disadvantage.
The New Era of Influencers: There has been a steep rise in the importance of social influencers in the past couple of years. They are making use of all types of social platforms like Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn etc., to reach the right audience. Hence, PR Professionals need to integrate this tactic in their strategies and campaigns. It is going to be easy for PR Professionals because they just have to shift their focus from Journalists to Influencers!
Public Relations is here to stay, and we will hear terms like Influencer Management, Data Analytics, Visual Storyboards etc. more often in the field of PR as effective tools to reach the target audience.