The most effective way to build on a marketing strategy and create a solid online reputation for a brand is through Public Relations. All successful companies spend a considerable amount of resources to stay on top of their PR strategies so as to reap better results in terms of ROI. In order to create an impressive brand reputation, it’s incumbent that the right messages are being sent to the right places and the right people. PR agencies help their clients achieve this within their industries.
An efficient PR strategy is supremely essential as it can help a company overcome any obstacle and transform the future and possibility of its business. 2021 has been a year full of controversies for various brands. Many were made victims of boycotting and demonization through social media campaigns on Facebook, Twitter, etc. In the digital age, a single tweet against a brand is powerful enough to snowball into a boycott trend. PR has gone through paradigm shifts with the incoming changes of the digital age and the drastic changes in the practices of workplace settings, travel opportunities, and day-to-day activities of people after the covid outbreak.
Digital PR has taken precedence. In order to accommodate for lockdowns, Covid-19 outbreaks, and social distancing, many businesses had to establish absolutely new working environments. As we head into 2022, we must know what 2022 might have for us in store.
IMPACT OF THE PANDEMIC ON PUBLIC RELATIONS PRACTICES
Creatively working on building relationships is one of the most unique features of a PR firm. However, it has been challenging to do that virtually in a digital environment. PR professionals are supposed to be constantly building relationships with the media and since meeting in person is no longer an option, they have had to look for digital ways of doing it. Earlier people used the medium of radio, newspapers, and tablets to catch up on news on their commute to work but that has changed now. More and more people are now following work-from-home practices, forcing PR professionals to re-work their strategies to understand the end customer and craft its messaging in the format being used by the customer.
MANOEUVERING ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE IN PUBLIC RELATIONS
Given the extensive amounts of information PR firms need to sort through, these firms could really benefit a lot with the use of Artificial Intelligence. The prime need for any PR firm is to be aware of the latest trends and news. AI ensures that this information is not getting missed or hindered by irrelevant information. By programming the bot in such a way that it searches out specific words or phrases, PR firms should be able to search through all the data present across all digital platforms to pull out any content required for their clients. Client competitors and media coverage can be easily monitored using AI. AI bots can be made use of to track media impressions for a PR firm’s clients as well as the clients’ competitors.
PR TRENDS TO LOOK OUT FOR IN 2022
Globally consumers look for an ethical and valued experience from their brands. Statistics show that customers like to buy from a brand that they resonate with and share their beliefs and values with. In 2022, adopting a sustainable branding strategy is of utmost importance. Reportedly, around 36% of PR experts claim that adopting a sustainable branding strategy is a great way of increasing their sales. Around 20% of the corporations have already been forced to incorporate sustainability in their campaigns in order to sustain a climate-focused audience.
THE WORLD CUP 2022
With the World cup inching closer, Football is definitely going to be one of the most popular campaign trends in 2022. A teaser of 2021 Euros has already been used up in many Christmas advertising campaigns. Sports, in general, is predicted to be a dominating trend in 2022.
AN OUTBOUND PR STRATEGY
With e-commerce going forward at a high-speed pace, it is predicted that in 2022 the competition between brands is going to get harder. An outbound PR strategy could help achieve success in such a competition.
2022 is going to be all about improving business awareness in the online sphere through improving SEO, increasing content outreach through in-content backlinks and guest posting.
This year will demand PR agencies with a large budget to get immersive with their PR strategies. This is the year to ponder about immersive forms of business promotion as the potential of immersive tech is ever-increasing with the potential of social media expanding exponentially.
When a brand is aligned with a current event to generate enough media attention and boost the brand’s exposure, it is known as Newsjacking. It is perhaps the most popular trend of 2022. The online push owing to the pandemic has definitely enhanced the capabilities of newsjacking.
It’s always advisable to keep an eye on trending topics to get humorous and creative. It’s vital to keep on top of the trending hashtags of Twitter 2022.
A quick and cost-efficient way to go viral online would be through making use of trending stories, increasing brand awareness & engagement, etc.
FOCUSING ON THE GEN-Z
Around 98% of the Gen-Z population is known to own cell phones. Gen-Z is almost about to become the consumers of the next generation. 2022 is the time to focus the PR efforts in a direction relevant to this audience.
SIGNIFICANCE OF LIVE VIDEO PR
There is a lot of popularity associated with the trend of live video. This is another trend to look out for this year. Since the year 2016, the number of people who make use of ‘live video’ has doubled. ‘Live video’ has become one of the most popular forms of PR success and brand promotion this year. Research says that around 70% of digital consumers favor learning about a product or service through a video. PR professionals must groom their outreach strategy in a way that it’s using the format that customers prefer such as Instagram Stories, Twitter, YouTube advertisements, etc.
TAKING A STANCE
Many brands in the year 2020 were put on trial for lacking inclusion and diversity programs, having dated policies, and non-existent positions on social issues. Last year, companies were found revamping their DE&I programs, updating their policies, and taking public stances on issues of social importance. According to what’s trending, a brand’s mission-based efforts will be communicated through PR messaging in 2022. Moreover, companies will need to prove to their customers that they are abiding by the changes they promised to make in 2021. PR efforts will be chiefly engrossed with consistent social awareness and philanthropic engagement.
CREATING AN INCLUSIVE BRAND IMAGE
In recent times, the wave of employee movement has been towards workplaces that offer inclusion and diversity to their employees in terms of race, physical abilities, sexuality, etc. PR firms must understand the wave and emphasize the client’s brand in a preferable light to attract prospective employees.
After 2020’s massive shake-up, followed by a chaotic 2021 and a still-unpredictable 2022, PR firms across all industries have had to adapt and evolve to the new environment to get their client brands highlighted.
Combining that with the global threats of fake news and misinformation, most PR firms across the globe have had to redesign their traditional approaches to creating, promoting, and sustaining brand images.