As we approach Q2 and finalize strategic planning for the year, it’s essential to ensure that your team is tapped into the latest industry trends for clients to be successful within the ever-changing global PR landscape.
Here are this year’s top PR trends to keep top-of-mind when creating effective 2022 strategies.
1. Influencer Marketing is Here to Stay
Over the last several years, influencer marketing has become a behemoth. Millions of individuals worldwide have evolved and refined this once “hobby, ” developing industry standards as well as monetizing this pursuit, helping to make becoming a full-time content creator a sought-after and sustainable career path. 10 years ago, this was an inconceivable concept - now it’s a topic covered by top tier publications like Forbes, projecting that brands will spend 15 billion dollars on influencer marketing campaigns in 2022.
To stand out from the crowd, create holistic, impactful programming instead of sporadic, one-off collaborations - this will allow your brand to forge a deeper, more authentic connection with consumers while also organically delivering key messages.
Consider engaging with a dedicated influencer relations team not only to strategically plan collaborations and execute, but to also deep-dive into researching the perfect influencers to collaborate with to connect directly with your target audience.
2. Creative, People-First Story-Telling Over Excessive Distribution of Press Releases
Traditionally, brands can feel pressure to constantly distribute press releases to garner earned coverage, even if the story angle isn’t the strongest. As a result, content that isn’t compelling, timely or newsworthy enough will not be picked up by media outlets as they are already over-saturated with hard news coverage. After closely following COVID-related news for so long, many Canadians are experiencing news fatigue but are starved for a great story. Make your brand, product, founder and/or employees the hero of an interesting, timely and compelling story and research a shortlist of ideal journalists to approach to tell it in an editorial and accessible way. Press kit materials like fact sheets and backgrounder will always play a key role in PR, but find your way in with an exceptional story that can lead to big-picture brand coverage, contribute to brand awareness, drive digital and social traffic and impact sales.
3. Diversity and Inclusion are Paramount
These two areas are key pillars both in PR programming and in the workplace. Ensuring that both pillars are included in all initiatives, externally and internally, your team can recognize and remedy bias and practice sensitivity. Externally, this will help your team create thoughtful content and strategies to connect with a wider audience. Internally, this will help foster a supportive, harmonious work environment, ultimately attracting and retaining higher-quality talent.
Initiatives supporting these key pillars cannot be vague or ambiguous - if you’re going to say it, it must be practiced and easily exemplified.
4. Corporate Responsibility, Sustainability and Community Support
Influencers and consumers are increasingly invested in the corporate responsibility and sustainability efforts of brands and organizations with which they partner and support. Sustainability programming cannot only contribute to protecting the environment but can also create a storytelling opportunity in itself, opening the door for a larger brand story.
Influencers are becoming increasingly aware of brands’ community support initiatives when approached to collaborate on content amplifying minority community holidays and events. Often, influencers decline to produce content for brands that aren’t also supporting that community in some way alongside influencer programming. When planning out diverse and inclusive influencer campaigns, it’s important to also include a community support element.
5. Data-Driven PR Strategies
Early PR impact was perceived to be difficult to quantify - implementing a data-driven PR strategy can demystify the communication of the success of PR efforts while helping clients and agencies easily measure wins as well as identify key learnings. While measuring impressions is still, and will forever be, a key metric, we can now further analyze the tone and sentiment of coverage in addition to providing comprehensive, ongoing competitor analysis. With the help of social listening technology, agencies can also break down influencer programming metrics and engagement.
Ready to garner media coverage reflecting the latest PR industry trends? We can help! Contact our team at email@example.com.