What PR industry trends are on the horizon for 2022?
Following 2020's massive upheaval, followed by a still-unpredictable and capricious 2021, public relations professionals across all industries have had to adapt, evolve, and pivot in order to get their client brands in the spotlight.
Combine this with ongoing changes in purchasing behavior, the persistence of remote work schedules, and global threats like the proliferation of fake news and misinformation on social media platforms, and it's clear that 2022 will undoubtedly be a year to remember - hopefully not as much as the ones we've all just lived through.
COPYRIGHT_MARX: Published on https://marxcommunications.com/pr-industry-trends/ by Keith Peterson on 2022-06-03T09:17:56.485Z
Even as the demand for online content has increased exponentially, newsroom employment in the United States has decreased by 26% since 2008.
This means that media outlets will have to rely on fewer full-time writers to meet demand. As a result, the writers they do have are frequently relegated to breaking news or more complex topics—areas where freelancers aren't as practical.
This means that there will be more demand for contributed articles by outside authors, i.e., the type of thought leadership that is so effective with B2B buyers.
If you've been having trouble persuading your executive team to invest the time and effort required for strong thought leadership, 2022 should be the year to change that.
While it may make sense to start with smaller or local outlets, many tier-one publications are also looking for contributed articles from experts. A few examples include Entrepreneur, the Harvard Business Review, Mashable, and Fast Company.
If you're in charge of PR for your B2B brand, get at least one member of your executive team on board with thought leadership, and then go hard on pitching throughout the year.
Historically, it has been difficult to quantify the ROI of B2B PR efforts.
Outlets can provide information such as the number of monthly unique visitors, ad impressions, and so on, but this does not provide the complete data picture that brands require.
Brands want to know how their public relations efforts are changing brand perception, convincing customers to buy, and increasing loyalty, among other metrics.
These things are becoming easier to measure thanks to PR analytics tools.
However, tools alone will not solve all problems. Brands and their public relations agency or staff must start with strong KPIs so they know what they want to measure and how important each metric is to their stated business goals.
Furthermore, utilizing digital PR as part of a larger, integrated marketing approach (which every brand should be doing anyway) gives brands more analytical context to work with—instead of looking at PR metrics alone, they can see how that data fits into their larger marketing analytics picture.
When it comes to B2B influencer marketing, brands have lagged, but this strategy can be extremely beneficial for brands in this sphere.
If you can find an influencer who is right for your brand—someone who speaks to the audience you need to reach, is well-liked by their followers, and maintains high levels of engagement on a regular basis—partnering with them can be extremely beneficial to your public relations efforts.
For starters, you get the PR and marketing benefits that come with simply partnering in the first place, such as getting your brand in front of the influencer's audience, attracting new site visitors, and connecting with new potential clients.
For another, that influencer partnership will also build up your brand’s social proof. This is an important factor in B2B purchases, especially since the majority of B2B buyers begin their research by searching potential vendors online.
For public relations professionals with a larger budget, 2022 is all about becoming immersed in your campaign strategy. As the potential of social media grows and immersive technology becomes a present-day trend rather than a trend of the future, the coming year could be the time to strike on immersive forms of business promotion.
In fact, smart marketers are recognizing AR's potential in PR planning as a result of the pandemic. After McKinsey research revealed that the digitalization of customer interactions increased by 58 percent globally in 2021 alone, it's no surprise that traditional forms of PR success are expected to stagnate in the new year.
As the pandemic pushed more than half of the world's population onto social media platforms, public relations professionals had to adapt quickly.
TikTok users are expected to exceed 1.5 billion by 2022, making this social media platform one of the fastest-growing online hubs since Facebook and Instagram.
If you're a public relations professional looking to boost brand awareness and engagement in the new year, this platform could be a good place to start. TikTok, which has one of the most active consumer groups on the internet, has almost every niche you can think of, making it the ideal place to target 2022 campaigns.
For those who understand its core value, public relations will be the key business development tool in 2022. Communications (PR) as a discipline must strive to create a transparent environment and to foster open and honest relationships.
It is clear that over the last 25 years, public relations has evolved in a variety of ways, across a wide range of platforms. While traditional aspects of public relations, such as press releases, bylines, and whitepapers, are still used today, communicators have learned that digital now drives a large portion of public relations.
Modern public relations is a digital-first approach to developing those relationships. Beyond the transaction, modern public relations uses engagement strategy and marketing technology to build and sustain mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their audiences on a large scale.
As we approach 2022, it's clear that the COVID-19 pandemic isn't the only thing that's constantly changing. With more e-commerce businesses moving online than ever before and a rapidly growing digital world, 2022 will undoubtedly be a busy year for public relations professionals.