T20 as a format in cricket, was developed basis a lot of thinking and marketing savvy! The accompanied razzle-dazzle ranging from cheerleaders, entertainment, creative jingles and war cries probably make the audiences forget that they have come to watch a gentlemen’s game!
It works for the dwindling attention spans of the spectators.
T20 is based on attributes like agility, ownership of the game right from the beginning, real time analysis of the evolving situation, competition analysis, use of technology and delivering results under multiple constraints.
Well, I see multiple parallels in the world of PR and corporate communications’!
- Short format content will rule
Thanks to technology, the human attention span is at its lowest yet! Google says, the average attention span of a millennial is about 12 seconds—and for Gen Zers, that number is about 8 seconds. Short format, snackable content should hence be the focus. Repurposing content in to different formats (video, inforgraphics, images etc.), distributing across multiple channels and targeting audience segments that are appropriate for the brand is key. Welcome to the T20 of PR professionals!
- The application of AI in PR will rise – Data will define success!
T20 Team analysts use data to make decisions and formulate strategies! In one of the matches, data suggested that South Africa struggled to face spin so West Indies used an extra spinner! Statistics showed that in T20, teams batting second won more matches! Now that is the power of data!
Use of data in PR can be a game changer!
AI is all about data mining, cognification of data and picking up patterns to predict! So at a very base level, PR professionals would be able to avoid guess work and decide basis data; when to launch a campaign, which region to pilot it, whom to engage with and may be throw up names of relevant and the most appropriate influencers to work with!
During a crisis, AI based crisis communication system can mine data globally, use algorithms and language processing ability to establish region and audience sentiment. AI can then actually enable bespoke messaging with micro targeting!
In PR T20, PR professionals will embrace AI for enhancing effectiveness!
- Authentic influencers will enhance reach for brands!
Fans in T20 cricket play a significant role during a match and also in terms of creating a buzz about the team. For the PR T20, influencers have become key contributors to a brand narrative. In PR, authenticity matters the most and I am witnessing a trend that audiences want messages from people whom they can relate to, trust and are niche subject matter experts rather than from paid celebrities. This has given prominence to the micro-influencers and this trend will only grow in 2020 albeit with a lot of cleaning up of inauthentic influencers!
- Owning the narrative would be essential to build thought leadership!
Data has shown that a T20 team that owns the game right from the beginning; either scoring big or getting maximum wickets in the first 10 overs generally wins. Likewise, big authentic narratives owned by brands right from the beginning can propel them in to the thought leadership space. An effective way to own, set and control your brand’s narrative would be to invest in your own media properties in both on line and off line spaces, grow them and sustain engagement with customers and influencers. T20 of PR will have this vertical in the PR arsenal.
- Agility in social listening and online reputation management (ORM) would become fundamental!
Every over in a T20 match can create a new situation. Captains need to be agile in decision making. Same holds true for a PR professional. We are all witnessing polarising times and have realised that fake news have been prevalent and will persist, potentially forever. PR teams have the responsibility to take the lead role in combating inappropriate narratives by constantly listening to the rants on social platforms and accordingly fine tune their response plans. T20 for PR would demand PR professionals to be good listeners!
- Celebrations and PR for PR will intensify!
T20 cricket is all about celebrations and fun post a well deserving victory that was laced with lot of planning, hard work, agility and implementation. Well, it’s the same story for PR folks! In a VUCA world, with multiple external stimuli impacting business performance, and with multiple disruptive modes of communications and platforms for data consumption by the stakeholders, the operative scope of a PR professional has favorably amplified. Today, they significantly impact multiple levers – corporate reputation, employee retention, crisis mitigation, sales, product brands, stock price, stakeholder engagement and many more. I do see a trend of increased impetus by various industry bodies to help PR win the due it deserves.
Year 2020 will be the year of celebrations for the PR fraternity!