The Art of Staying Relevant in Public Relations
Updated: Jan 30
PR professionals are wired to evolve as new technologies and trends emerge. Brands need to elevate their PR strategy in order to stay one step ahead of their competition. In other words, going with the flow means ensuring that communication is not only relevant and influences audiences across demographics, but also caters to them in their local languages. Staying relevant in PR and understanding your consumers is an art. It requires creativity, innovation and flexibility across a number of mediums.
The art of storytelling
92% of consumers relate to advertisements that are in the form of stories! It’s no surprise that audiences love a good read and storytelling helps form a connection with them on an emotional level. Although using stories to communicate a message isn’t new, it is definitely becoming increasingly important to do so. Weaving in the human element in storytelling can involve putting together a video of the history of your brand or sharing a customer’s experience in a social media campaign. Since 86% of consumers prefer an authentic and honest brand image on social media, it is crucial for brands to tell stories that audiences want to hear more of!
Interactive content is here to stay
PR has taken quite a few interesting turns in the recent years. Usually, brands would organize campaigns to connect with their audiences and communicate a message. Now, consumers are able to communicate back with brands through social media, thus making PR a highly interactive experience. Interactive content gives brand a unique identity. When consumers communicate back, it helps them connect with the brand on a personal level. With more than 90% of consumers practically begging for interactive content, PR strategies need to shift focus to give people what they want, ranging from gamified quizzes and polls, shoppable posts and virtual reality experiences.
News at a glance
A large chunk of consumers get their news through social media. The process to constantly create new stories is easier said than done. With an estimate of over 6,000 tweets and 54,000 Facebook posts per second, stories are being consumed like never before. Brands can engage with their audience by getting to the point quickly and communicating their message in crisper, easier-to-access formats. News doesn’t necessarily have to be restricted to storytelling only. Live streaming video, for example, is ready to take the spotlight through live interviews, discussions, panels, announcements and even product launches. A whopping 82% of consumers prefer live video from a brand to social posts!
Staying relevant is the new normal
In order to learn the art of staying relevant in PR, brands need to carefully chalk out a step-by-step PR plan. Identifying your target audience is essential to create a strategy that caters to consumers across various demographics. Since 81% of PR professionals cannot do their jobs effectively without social media, the right way to get maximum traction and engagement across platforms is by connecting with consumers where they consume content the most. For example, television is still the best way to reach rural consumers with close to 59% of them relying on television for news updates. Since more rural homes watch television than urban ones do, brands need to craft their communication strategy in a way that effectively reaches rural audiences.
Another interesting aspect of strategizing for PR is the importance of staying relevant when it comes to generational marketing. Gen X cares about the details and appreciates when information is shared on a regular basis. Communication mediums like email, word-of-mouth and social events work best when reaching out to Gen X-ers.
Millennials on the other hand are especially responsive to social media campaigns, purposeful branding and humorous content. They are best reached through a combination of offline, online and word-of-mouth mediums.
Lastly, Gen Z cares about the world. This generation not only grew up with technology, but is also acutely aware of political, social and environmental issues. They tend to stay loyal to brands who represent their values, are authentic in their communication and stand by what they say.
With so many platforms and technologies springing up, PR industry experts need to upgrade their communication strategies and stay updated with both ongoing and emerging trends.
Staying relevant requires choosing the right medium, driving home your message across multiple languages and choosing a flexible strategy for different demographics, to help your brand develop a truly unique identity!