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  • Writer's pictureDeclan Waters

3 Big Trends for PR in 2020

Over the past two decades, PR has changed substantially. Thanks to social media, access to news and announcements is instantaneous and journalists no longer have complete control over the message. Public relations professionals have an expanded toolset in their arsenal and can have a dramatic influence over how a brand is perceived by the public.

In 2020 and beyond, we’ll see many PR trends accelerate, especially as PR firms and professionals adopt new technologies and the strategies they make possible. In this post, we’ll examine three key trends we believe will have the most impact this year.

Trend #1: Influencer Marketing

Tomoson recently reported that 22% of marketers think influencer marketing is the most cost-efficient tool for public relations, apart from email marketing. Since the rise of social media as a channel for news and information, influencers have become a conduit for disseminating information about everything from product announcements to events to trends and opinions. As the balance of power continues to shift from brands to consumers, the importance of including influencers in your overall PR strategy will increase.

A recent study by Collective Bias found that 30% of consumers are more likely to purchase a product endorsed by a non-celebrity blogger than a mainstream celebrity. And about 70% of millennials favor non-celebrity endorsements, such as those from influencers. This preference for influencers is laid bare in the ROI of influencer marketing: businesses make about $6.50 for every dollar spent on this tactic. That’s why, according to Tomoson, 59% of marketers are planning to increase influencer marketing budgets over the next 12 months.

Through influencers, your business can attain broader reach, as well as benefit from the backing of people that consumers respect and follow. Incorporating Influencer Marketing into your overall PR strategy will be essential for success now and into the future.

Trend #2: Integration of PR and Marketing

PR and marketing were once separate functions manned by separate teams, but that’s changing. Audiences are increasingly skeptical of advertising, and as stated in Trend 1, more likely to be swayed by an influencer’s opinion than a celebrity’s endorsement. Today, 84% percent of Millenials don’t trust traditional advertising, which means money spent on pricey ads, billboards and TV commercials is likely wasted.

Today’s consumers prefer to consume content of various kinds from trustworthy, reliable sources. They crave authenticity. That’s why successful organizations enlist PR teams that include writers and content strategists who can conceive of and create meaningful, relevant content that intrigues audiences and inspires trust in their brand. Additionally, a strong social media presence is now an essential component of a comprehensive PR strategy, and should be top of mind. This entails posting engaging content as well as monitoring and responding to any conversations about your brand.

Trend #3: The Impact of Data on PR Strategy

Marketing and PR have become data-centric disciplines over the past decade. Data is critical to enabling teams to target the right audiences and measure their performance and impact. In a Muck Rack survey, 72% of PR professionals said measuring business impact is currently the top challenge the industry is facing, and 98% of PR professionals measure their PR in some way. And, in a Global Communications survey, USC Annenberg found that 65% of PR professionals said the ability to quantify Big Data Analytics will be the most important skill to the future of the industry.

Why? Because the media landscape is vast and growing, encompassing numerous channels — both digital and physical. For example, Influencers on Instagram can have 20,000 followers or more, all of whom may impact your brand through likes, shares and click throughs. A press release posted to LinkedIn could have global reach, and news propagates rapidly on digital channels. Without some way to measure reach, impressions and impact, PR teams are just shooting in the dark.

Expect to see PR professionals leveraging new tools and technologies to measure goals and KPIs more precisely in the months to come, and be sure your PR team has the capability to analyze and report on results.

For more information about how to capitalize on these trends, schedule a call with one of our senior-level PR experts.



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