Covid pandemic dealt a final blow to the squeaky structures of public relations, which have been in flux for years. The choice today is down to self-disrupt or getting disrupted. This is also our biggest opportunity to embrace change and future-proof public relations.
Embrace Outcome-based Models
The revenue models have shifted from effort-based to outcome-based. We must break free from the ‘hourly’ traps and be equal partners in value creation. Businesses and the economy are adapting to new ways, and so must public relations.
The newer players are challenging the incumbents like never before; when the dust settles, we will have a new landscape and new leaders.
Glocal (Global & Local) PR in the 5G world
We live in a hyper-connected yet hyper-localised world. The space and time dimensions that informed and governed the PR activities are irrelevant today; the sun never sets in the internet world. Real-time PR is simply the need of the hour and only gets further nuanced with the charged socio-political global environment. Content must constantly speak to the context otherwise, you have an instant crisis at hand.
Championing owned & user-generated content
Every corporate is a publishing house, and every communicator is a journalist. Public relations services are all about being the content guru. With the rise of digital and social media and the ability to access audiences directly, the onus is on public relations to produce content and own the entire life cycle of engagement, including measurement.
The user-generated content is becoming a force in the digital world. The consumer is the brand – she is the user, content creator, ambassador, and the customer all rolled in one. Data privacy and protection frameworks are forming across the globe; with technologies like blockchain, the content creators are looking to monetise, and brands will have to brace for it.
Tech-up PR for the metaverse
Every PR outfit must be a tech outfit. Automation and botification (chatbots & conversational Artificial Intelligence) of PR activities are already surging. Applying data and analytics for audience insights and crafting campaign strategies is critical. The augmented and virtual reality is deeply embedded in the experiential economy and how we engage with it.
The metaverse readiness in stitching the hybrid messaging and experience will determine our relevance with the future audience and that future is now.
The New Gig
The onset of the gig economy has pushed our thinking, where brand loyalties are fluid, the focus is on an individual and value exchange, in the moment. Engaging with the gig worker and building brand relevance is the next frontier to conquer.
Power of Partnerships
The new world order has proven that no individual firm, nation or community can solve the challenges we are currently facing. Whether it is the pandemic, climate change, or food and water shortage. Corporates worldwide are joining forces to address the pressing issues of our time; public relations has to be a far more concerted and cooperative body as well.
Skills of the public relations space need to reflect the demand of it. We need interdisciplinary skill sets like techies, architects, designers, film-makers, business analysts, researchers and data modelers, among other industry experts, to design for the needs of the dynamic audiences.
Our task is cut out, and I will choose self-disruption for survival each time I am given a choice.
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.