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Top PR trends of 2016 you can’t ignore

2015 turned out to be a great year for the marketing and communications discipline.  Referring to it as a dynamic and exciting year would be more appropriate as new technologies were able to transform the PR experiences. With the passage of time, the world of communication is undergoing rapid transformation and the strong urge to stay constantly connected is gaining momentum. The New Year is considered the perfect time to start afresh as it offers a bounty of fresh perspective responsible for changing the way we operate in our daily work mode.

With the growth in marketing and communications, a shift has been noticed in the needs and preferences of audiences apart from a change in approach towards Public Relations. Staying on the top of the game requires a business to maintain pace with the practices shaping the industry. Amid the consistent flux, there are certain essential trends that define the overall direction PR is headed towards and that will continue to hold influence through the year. As the world becomes more integrated in terms of its approach, it is important that the PR practitioners understand the varied nuances of the digital space and focus on the key 2016 PR trends.

By offering the customers’ exposure across a variety of online and offline platforms, PR firms are better positioned to tap the trend-savvy audiences. In fact, we say every business enterprise irrespective of its domain should consider the top 2016 PR trends to buckle up and stay prepared.

  • Technology platforms will continue to be crucial Technology_platforms

Prominent brands focus on storytelling. With the boom in virtual reality, we will see businesses using it rampantly to tell their story. There’s no denying the fact that virtual reality content is more accessible to the consumers.  As consumers want to shop at their own convenience, many brands have displayed their inclination towards using immersive virtual reality technology in their day to day activities.

A survey suggests that about 73% of the consumers want to engage with brands that make use of personal information to strengthen their experience. 2016 is expected to be about creating unique and personalised, tailored brand content. Businesses are eyeing to build a connection with the consumers in a way that will make them feel unique, relevant and will lead to a long lasting relationship. Bombarding the consumers with branded content is not the way forward. In fact, marketers and communicators try to break through the clutter by offering inspirational, memorable or even fun to read content.

  • Keeping pace with change

Audiences are no longer open to the idea of reading newspapers to stay informed as newsfeeds on the Social Media platforms offer information in real time around the clock. For example, most businesses, irrespective of industry type, prefer to display offer related information on their different Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, etc) pages to create awareness, engagement and improve business prospects.

  • Bringing Social Value to the community and consumers

Customers are keen to offer support to those enterprises that provide a sense of social commitment as it shows the company cares for the community and is not just concerned about bolstering their bottom line. When a business is able to display its commitment to a community, the bottom line as well as the brand’s image is sure to be positively impacted.

  • Complete business integration business_integration

It has often been noticed that enterprises have employees who are not aware of their corporate communication messages. It is crucial that the corporate communications strategy is integrated with the complete operation. The entire staff should have a clear idea of the PR messages.

  • Content management and creation

Recent studies show that approximately 90% of the customers make their buying decision online before they visit the physical store. In simple words, developing sensible and eyeball grabbing content is essential for the company’s success. By creating timely and targeted content, product promotion becomes an easy and hassle free task.

  • Focus on Relationship Building Relationship_Building

The relevance of developing robust relationships with the media can never be negated; hence creating strategies that nurture press contacts play a significant role. Identify those people to whom you wish to pitch a story about your business/brand/product. It is important that the right people are targeted at the right publications.

Sending out mass emails or even generic LinkedIn messages never bring results.

  • Creativity matters more compared to cost effective solutions Creativity_matters

Believe it or not, implementation of a PR strategy creatively isn’t expensive. Just think outside the box and follow a unique approach for the best results. When competing for the client’s attention, every business wants audiences to remember them for the longest time span. Marketing and communications are two crucial areas with regard to the conceptualisation and execution of any corporate plan.

  • Online reputation management is important

When a brand pitches its story to a publication, many journalists and editors prefer to find out who you are and what your enterprise is offering. The chances of acceptance by a publication increase when they find trustworthy content about your business, service offering, the area of expertise and more. But the chances of acceptance in a publication declines when there isn’t much content available.

For better management of your online reputation, getting your message across to the right audiences is crucial. Publishing quality and consistent content is important for any business.

  • Role of paid promotions and social ads

It is widely noticed that leaders are producing and disbursing content around their brands and expertise to strengthen the PR efforts. Reports suggest that over 50% of the B2B marketing professionals are making use of Social Ads and promoted posts for content disbursement. In fact, the effectiveness ratings of these methods have witnessed a considerable jump since 2015.

In simple words, marketing and communications departments across companies are paying attention to social efforts as they bring higher returns. Many PR professionals have started to look for efficient ways to opt for investment in paid social distribution and touch base with the new audiences.

Since the PR industry has witnessed a dramatic evolution in the past few years, the key to adapting to an ever-changing PR landscape is to maintain focus on the original plans despite the change in the industry. If the old ways are bringing results, do not scrap them. Introduce new strategies, test them and identify what’s working.

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