Public relations (PR) as a business has transformed into a well-oiled machinery that touches almost every aspect of an enterprise business, reinventing communication like never before. Despite the changing landscape of PR, its importance has never been more relevant. Whether it’s marketing, advertising, event management or corporate communications, a modern-day PR firm covers all facets of communications.
With the downsizing of newsrooms and expansion of the digital world, public relations and its archaic methods of operating have also evolved. Thus, the Public Relations, in future, is expected to foray into the new age of communication dominated by disruptions and innovations.
Influencer Marketing: With a growing usage of social media, influencer marketing has become an integral part of a brand’s marketing strategies. But, with the rise in influencers and content on multiple platforms, the need for authenticity has become imperative. Today, social media users aren’t just looking for authentic content but are also concerned about the causes influencers support. Thus, brands are careful while finalising the influencers to represent their products. And, with the expected rise of influencer marketing in future, the onus will be on PR firms to vet influencers meticulously before choosing them to represent their brands.
Multi-Media Content: The recent pandemic brought a major change in PR. With a focus on technology, the business has diversified in accordance to the changing market situations. Apart from social media, new platforms have also been crucial in shaping public opinion. The use of short videos and other digital content remain at the forefront of PR strategies aimed at communicating with the masses and delivering a brand’s message. In the future, where the attention span of people continues to shrink, PR will witness a greater need to leverage multi-media content, especially podcasts, to facilitate communication more effectively and efficiently with customers.
Technology will be a Driving Force: There has been a massive change in how PR professionals are using technology to establish communication with consumers. The modern-day PR firms are using the latest technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), big data and Internet of Things (IoT) to get the job done with more efficiency, reduced time and minimal error. As witnessed during the pandemic, the use of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) by PR companies to host events has proved to be a gamechanger. With our technological dependence, PR will further adapt and mould itself to incorporate the new and upcoming tech-related advancements to facilitate effective communication.
Growth of ESG: In a world concerned about sustainability, the ESG (environmental, social and governance) movement is gaining steam as it defines how sustainable and ethical a company is. Failure of a firm to meet the expectations of its public in any of the three dimensions of the ESG can result in reputational and investor risk. Going forward, these ESG concerns and how they will be met present big opportunities to the PR profession to make a larger contribution to organisational decision-making and performance. As companies strive to meet ESG parameters, the role of PR firms to increase awareness about their efforts will naturally increase. Also, since ESG contributes to a company’s public perception, reputation management, as one of the key PR offerings, will emerge as another crucial opportunity. By helping businesses in achieving and effectively communicating their ESG goals, the PR business is bound to increase its strategic value in the future.
While the aforementioned predictions are expected to influence the PR business, the need to efficiently channel the human touch in approach will always be essential for its overall growth. The onus will be on the industry leaders to share wisdom and nurture talent at the source to add value. Public relations is credited for shaping our world and changing our perceptions. And, as our world undergoes future changes, so will the dynamic PR business, in a bid to facilitate effective communication.
The views and opinions published here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the publisher.
This article was first published in the PRAXIS 2022 special edition print magazine of Reputation Today.
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