Public Relations in 2019
by April Tho
2018 marked a significant period in the development of PR and marketing, as data-driven insights became increasingly indispensable for creating brand awareness and understanding audiences on social media. Our team sat down to share thoughts on what PR might look like in 2019.
Here are our trend predictions that we will be keeping on our radar this year:
The Impact of Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain
Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain has been a hot topic over the past couple of years and we believe it will likely continue to have a big impact in 2019. These technologies have aided journalists in content verification and combating fake news. As its development and growth have already advanced into monitoring, reporting and tracking, we can expect it to branch out into other areas such as content analysis and media monitoring. New tools that are able to recognise chosen topics used alongside existing ones will allow journalist relations to be enhanced. Of course, this means us PRs will need to swiftly and efficiently adapt to these changes to make the most out of this technology.
2019 will see more demand for personal PR, positioning key spokespeople behind businesses as thought leaders in their field. Thought leaders introduce new and unique insights into their respective industries, which will allow them to better communicate and engage with their audiences. Essentially, this is building a personal brand where businesses can differentiate themselves within a crowded market. It positions a company as a credible source of accurate information, building a sense of trust with their audience. That being said, it is important to mention how crucial building trust is. A 2018 study found that the media is the least-trusted institution, but there is a rise in trust in one important area: experts – which is why we believe this route will be even more prevalent for businesses this year.
The New Media: Audio
A report by Nic Newman from the Reuters Institute shows at least a tenth of both the US and UK population regularly use voice-activated speakers. Voice-activated speakers or voice-assistants are already growing faster than smartphones at a similar stage. Based on the report, heavy users collectively agree that their smart speakers are the first and final contact point with technology, suggesting that voice will become a critical gateway to media going forward. Even though news consumption on these devices are currently lower than expected, research shows that news publishers (particularly the ones with a radio heritage) are already pursuing a verity of strategies around voice. As voice-assistant owners ourselves, we believe this trend will take off in 2019 and accelerate further in the future.
PR & Marketing: Working Together
The collaboration between PRs and marketers is not a new concept, but the lines between PR and marketing are becoming increasingly blurred. Content is key – for both PR and marketing. Consumers demand content they can engage with, a compelling brand experience that is unique. This is achieved through brand building. PR and marketing teams need to work together to align goals and efforts, to create impactful messaging to be able to tell a brand’s story effectively and immerse the audience.
Another way PR and marketing can be integrated is through Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and organic website and search traffic. In today’s digital world, it is important to understand and appreciate the importance of SEO. Content produced should include key words/messaging, include backlinks and other SEO-friendly tactics which will support the marketing team. This earned media will boost credibility not only on search engines but also with human audiences. Earned media is vital to PR and marketing as it can be used to influence future content creation. It tells us what resonates with a target audience so we can identify what works and what doesn’t.
If you are interested to find out more about SEO, click here.
Of course, in this constantly evolving world of digital PR, there is always something new to learn. We believe 2019 will be a year of new opportunities and we are looking forward to what the next 12 months will bring!
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