Will 2023 Open Up More Opportunities For Public Relations?

We are now a free bird as the pandemic has faded away and hopefully the year 2023 will be year of buzz and action for the PR industry. But before we talk or touch on the topic of what are trends one can look forward let us rewind as to what happened in the year 2022. While there is mixed reaction from the industry experts about the industry and the market but the mood is very optimistic as the industry is on the growth path.

PR had enough struggle for both respectability and clarity of purpose but that the industry has clearly overcome and today every brand is very closely embracing with PR as an important communication tool while they draw their overall marketing plan for their company and their respective brands. Many industry forums have given that push to the PR industry with seminars and awards being given to individuals and brands for various PR initiatives and campaigns. What is more important is clients need to build their self-belief and work with purpose lead goals with their PR partners to achieve their end objectives. Here are some of the trends one can notice as we move forward into 2023.

Adoption of new technology: Clients today are more demanding and are looking for more effective PR strategy and campaigns which can create impact with their stakeholders and audiences. So, adopting new technology and finding out new and unique ways to get the right message across geography and audiences without much wastage is important. Consultancies will also have to look at investing more on the technology front and get their teams trained to move with the technology as managing online brand reputation will be increasingly become challenging.

Storytelling and Narratives: Engaging your stakeholders with strong narratives is the shift one has noticed. With multiple audiences and stakeholders and influencers you need to craft your stories that will appeal your target audiences. Even when you talk to you a journalist you have  to narrate the  power of the story in the most interesting manner using different tools which he or she will understand better for your to get your story published. In all these an emotional quotient will always work. There will be multiple challenges with the brands but it is up to you  on  how to  convert those challenges into opportunities and help the brand.

Up the Research:  The approach to research should go beyond the media audits and the focus should be for strong insights to get your messaging right. Clients also need to invest in professional research to help their PR partners to get a better understanding of their category to come out with good and relevant PR ideas for pitching the same to journalists. A well thought out and a well-crafted pitch will not only resonate more strongly with audiences but will also help the journalist to think better to get sharper and focussed stories. The importance of research must be given more priority as more data and information will help you draw sharp insights and will  strengthen your story and pitch ideas.

Talent Crunch: While this talent crunch needs to be addressed on an urgent basis, what is also required is to groom the existing PR personnel and equip them with the skill sets and tools to operate in a digital PR ecosystem. There are always ways and means and opportunities to encourage the young PR professionals in a systematic manner and nurture them. But all this in the hands of the leadership team who need to invest time and money in training and development. While there are enough colleges offering PR courses but the training should go  beyond the 4 walls of the class rooms to ground level practical training. Colleges and the industry should work together so that there is good synergy in theory and practical training.

Outlook 2023: The media scape will play an important role and we could see more of digital media as your focus. While there was a lot of noise made on metaverse but nothing earth shattering has happened on that to take the centre stage. While social media behaviour and trends in 2022 was more towards social commerce the year 2023 could take that further and brands will have to carve new social media strategy and be more innovative on their media approach. This year the start-ups went through a rough weather and with investors playing a cautious approach the start-ups will also be very prudent in investing on marketing and PR. Growth should come in 2023 as , post pandemic the industry is in the  bounce back stage and  every other sectors in the industry are gearing up towards growth and expansion.

The views and opinions published here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the publisher.

Ganapathy Viswanathan
An independent consultant in Branding and Communication, Ganapathy Viswanathan comes with over three decades of experience in Brand Communication, Public Relations & Digital Marketing. He has worked in diverse disciplines with several multinational advertising agencies like Ogilvy, Lowe and Mudra Group.

On the Public Relations front, he was the General Manager, Western region of 20:20 MSL, where he spearheaded the western region operations. In his last role he was the Senior Vice President, Sales & Marketing Communication at Eureka Mobile Advertising - a mobile engagement company in India head quartered in UK.

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