Considering that public relations now relies so much on digital media – which makes great strides every few years – it’s no surprise that 2017 will bring some changes to the tools and tactics in the PR industry. If you want to get the best results on your branding efforts, you need to stay updated on the latest PR trends. Here are ten that you can expect in 2017.
1. The Traditional Media Press Release Is Dead
The traditional press release was once the best way to get news out fast. But these days, it’s faster to just pitch the story to journalists who know how to write it well and get it published on the sites your audience reads. In fact, you can even publish your piece of news on your own blog and then share it on social media. Not only will this get you more views, but it can also help you avoid the consequences Google often doles out for backlinks and duplicate content when people distribute press releases to multiple sites.
2. A New Primary Focus: Personal Branding and Thought Leadership of Executives
One of the newest PR trends involves becoming a thought leader. The reason for this is that you can earn the attention and trust of your audience by showing that you’re an authority on a particular subject. You can do this by publishing articles, blog posts, email newsletters and videos that educate your readers. For an example of how to publish what you know, check out the articles by LinkedIn Influencers who publish content on the site.
3. Non-Traditional Content Amplification
When you have great content, you want to share it. Luckily, one of 2017’s PR trends will involve some interesting content amplification tactics. Of course, social media will continue to be one of the main ways to share your content. You can combine that with paid promotion, such as Facebook promoted posts, Twitter promoted tweets and LinkedIn sponsored updates. Google AdWords will continue to be another great paid promotion tactic. You can also try asking big influencers in your industry to share and contribute to your content to give it more credibility and publicity.
4. PR Has Become More Data Driven
In recent years, we’ve made it easier to collect data on nearly every process, especially those that involve the internet. And since that describes many public relations tactics, it makes sense that data use will be one of the PR trends for 2017. Some examples of how you can use data to drive your PR campaign include getting to know your audience based on the stats you know about it, figuring out which type of content you’ve posted is most popular and determining the best time to post based on when your audience is online.
5. Personalize Your Digital Pitch
Another of the PR trends to look forward to in 2017 is personalizing your pitches. No longer do mass pitches do the job. You need to build relationships with reporters and editors if you want to increase your chance of getting your content published fast. After all, you’re competing with countless other companies that also want the attention of reporters. If you want to stand out, you should first connect with them on social media. Then any time you send an email, add a personal touch to the subject line and mention their past coverage in the body of the email.
6. PR Pros Will Need a Broad Skillset
You already know you need to be good at writing, event planning and maintaining relationships to be successful at PR. But thanks to our reliance on so much digital media these days, you also need to be a whiz at social media, content marketing and content strategy. As new PR tactics come up, you’ll need to master those, as well. Basically, the once fine line between earned and owned media has blurred, so you should get better at combining these with paid media for the ultimate campaign.
7. PR Pros Will Need to Be Prepared for Real Time
You no longer have days to react in PR. You now have minutes, and you have to be prepared. That’s right; real-time responses will be among the PR trends next year. People are used to getting instant responses from brands and seeing them react quickly to events, and you’ll have to live up to their expectations. Being on social media – or hiring someone to represent your brand on social networks – is a great way to get started with real-time PR.
8. Visual Storytelling
The average person watches 32 videos per month, and there’s a 74 percent increase in understanding when someone watches a video. These are some simple reasons to start using video and other visual tools – such as images and slide shows – in your PR campaigns next year.
9. Measure Your Success
This goes along with the increase in collecting and using data. Metrics like impressions, shares, mentions and downloads can tell you exactly how your campaign is doing so you can adapt it as needed. Fortunately, most social networks and website platforms now make it easy to track these metrics and measure your PR success.
10. Native Advertising
An alternative to straightforward ads is native advertising, in which you pay to place a fairly subtle ad in a publication, ensuring that the ad matches the form and function of the publication’s typical content. If you take this route, make sure you follow the rules set forth by the FTC and include the proper disclosure for native advertising.
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