Over the last few years, the public relations (PR) sector has been under increased scrutiny. Consumers expect more from companies than ever before, and the growth of cancel culture means that avoiding a public relations disaster is more vital than ever.
Over the last few years, the public relations (PR) sector has been under increased scrutiny. Consumers expect more from companies than ever before, and the growth of cancel culture means that avoiding a public relations disaster is more vital than ever. In 2021, there are five major public relations trends to keep an eye on. Paying close attention to the newest trends is essential for improving and maintaining your PR efforts. Here are five key PR trends to keep an eye on in 2021.
Brands must understand who they are connecting with on a human-to-human level, with 10.7 million Americans unemployed and many more unable to work as a result of COVID-19. Leaders in branding and communications should consider the following questions:
Instagram and Facebook Stories continue to perform admirably with ephemeral material. Many brands and content providers are finding tremendous success with this 24-hour-accessible short-form format. The style, which was popularized by Snapchat, was brought this year to LinkedIn (Stories) and Twitter (Fleets), where users may publish brief updates with their audiences.
Ephemeral content will continue to grow in popularity since it is simple to develop due to its more casual and informal style, making it a great tool for individuals and organizations looking to raise their share of voice in their particular fields of expertise.
None of the technology advancements that have emerged since the pandemic has been more essential or meaningful than our capacity to video chat with coworkers and loved ones.
Tools like Teams, Zoom, Google Classroom, and others have aided our ability to perform business as usual, communicate with family and friends, and establish a new acceptable casual aesthetic that has pervaded both digital and conventional media. For example, to depict the realities of life during the pandemic, corporate CEOs have altered their profile images from suits in an office to polos at home with their children in the backdrop. Even “produced” television commercials are being made to appear as if they were shot in real time, while others use raw material to convey the same message.
2021 will be the year of "authentic" material starring "authentic" people living "authentic" lifestyles.
The video conferencing technology isn't that sophisticated. Faces are stacked into small boxes on laptop screens, which is a significant step backwards from in-person gatherings.
Brands and businesses will adopt technologies that personalize gatherings in 2021, allowing meeting organizers to “read the room.” The human dynamics of real-world meetings, including voice, gesture, and social and hierarchical dynamics, must be better replicated in these humanized interactions.
Organizations eager to humanize video interactions and combat "Zoom fatigue" will embrace technology providers that quickly enhance their video conferencing solutions to include conversation dynamics. While there is a lot of noise around virtual reality, we anticipate to see more AR technology being used to enhance communication tools. Participants will be able to watch the human dynamics of meetings via video screens with smart overlays, allowing for more meaningful engagement.
People are consuming more content in a new way now that many people around the world are at home. People are no longer commuting to and from work. When you have children conducting remote learning with you at the kitchen table, you don't have time to sit at your desk.
Brands must serve up content in new ways and reach out to new audiences. In 2021, short form storytelling (maximum 60 seconds) will be the only option to keep your audience's attention. If you go on much longer, your audience will tune out.
People will be weary of shopping and engaging with products and services at brick-and-mortar establishments as the pandemic continues to influence our daily lives into the new year. Retailers who have never used e-commerce before must shift their focus to the social media platform where their customers spend the most time: Instagram (121 million monthly users). In-app purchases on Facebook and Instagram have already increased, and because they know you better than you know yourself, the proper content will always appear in your stream.
People are more socially conscious than they have ever been. Consumers are looking to the companies they do business with to discover what their opinion is on problems as a result of the social movements that have swept the United States (and the world) in 2020, catapulting corporate executives into the spotlight. Consumers will seek to conduct business with and connect themselves with firms that share similar values and ideas as they do in 2021, thus executive thought leadership campaigns and content will be invaluable. Make use of social media to provide your leaders with a platform and a voice so they can make a meaningful difference in people's lives.
Our workplaces must reflect the same variety that we see in our daily lives. In 2020, issues of equity for people of color, women, and LGBTQIA+ individuals gained center stage. The focus for firms and their public relations teams in 2021 will be on making progress in the correct way. If they want to be relevant and real, they must have an actionable plan to progress with diversity within. Organizations who continue to disregard the problem will almost certainly face public relations issues.
You not only risk slipping behind your competitors if you don't have a clear policy and messaging around diversity and inclusion, but you also risk unfavorable press and reputational damage. These appeals for progress in diversity, equity, and inclusion aren't merely a reaction to the global racial tensions that will be highlighted in 2020; they're backed up by facts. Take a look at these numbers:
There is no time for excuses when it comes to a diverse staff. This collection of diversity and inclusion insights was compiled by McKinsey & Company. They've done an outstanding job of illustrating the issues that businesses face when it comes to addressing various forms of equality, as well as potential solutions.
We've had both good and bad news this year.
-The bad news is that many of the same issues that plagued us in 2020 as a result of the pandemic still exist today.
-The good news is that you know a lot more about this brave new world now than you did in March 2020.
As long as there is uncertainty, businesses will continue to seek assistance with:
Internal messaging is more important than ever in boosting employee (and stakeholder) morale. Employees and consumers, for example, will expect to hear clear and real communications from company leaders on a frequent basis. Staffbase recognizes the value of internal communication and has created this article to assist businesses of all sizes in improving their workforce.
Showcases the impact of the pandemic on communications work and provides real-life examples of successful internal communication strategies used by other firms. These techniques will assist you in reuniting your team and strengthening it after a difficult period of being separated and detached.
The word of the year in 2020 was pivot, and maybe the largest pivot of all was the shift to virtual events. I'm sure we've all been on one too many Zoom calls with failed signals, mute issues, or a long screen share effort. Oli Gardner's Ultimate Guide to Giving Virtual Presentations on Zoom has amazed the marketing industry, with big influencers such as Rand Fishkin and Brian Dean praising it. For your next pitch, webinar, or virtual event, pay special attention to these pointers.
It's critical for PR professionals that these types of issues don't arise at virtual events.
That implies a lot of virtual platform training.A seamless user experience is essential for successful media interactions. Send early instructions to reporters on how to utilize the event technology, and make sure that spokespeople are coached and ready to present on camera.
Although marketing and public relations have distinct roles to play, firms are increasingly proposing that the two teams collaborate from the start of a campaign. Both departments can exchange their skills in a more efficient manner this way. It will be easier to reach your shared goals if all departments support the same vision from the beginning of a campaign, rather than revising the same campaign over and over again.
In many ways, it appears that 2020 has been lost. An entire year was spent mostly in isolation or in fear of a second wave. We now know that what appeared to be a temporary issue has become the "new normal." We've seen a lot of public relations teams attempting to make up for lost time in 2021. Companies must concentrate their efforts on figuring out how to do so in a still-socially-distant setting. Expect some unique new events or public relations pushes throughout the year, even if we don't have all the answers yet.
This isn't new information, but it'll be extremely relevant in 2021. People are hungry for genuine stories about community and support from human brands. COVID-19 has shattered our world's foundations, and now, more than ever, your audience wants to hear about your plans for the future. Because consumers will always want human connection, pathos has long been the driving factor behind the most effective marketing methods. The most effective sort of public relations is relatable and personal material. Concentrate your efforts on hiring outstanding authors. When you can create a brand that prioritizes human stories, the sky's the limit.
Brands will be under greater pressure to improve their Corporate Social Responsibility plans in 2021. Consumers expect brands to speak out about significant topics, whether it's climate change, the pandemic, or political instability.
Customers expect brands to have a good societal influence in 2021. Ethics is no longer regarded as “nice to have” in the corporate world. Brands that keep mute instead of using their platform to effect positive change are disliked by a vocal sector of the market.
For the brands they represent, PR experts will pay increasingly more attention to reputation management trends in order to develop more comprehensive plans. The following are a few areas to concentrate on when it comes to reputation management:
Trolls on the internet: Trolls on the internet often try to harm a company's reputation by distributing false bad reviews and comments on social media. Public relations practitioners must learn to distinguish genuine negative feedback from trolling.social media. Public relations practitioners must learn to distinguish genuine negative feedback from trolling.
Influencer marketing: With the correct influencer marketing initiatives, public relations professionals may improve reputation management techniques and generate good buzz for the brands they work with.public relations professionals may improve reputation management techniques and generate good buzz for the brands they work with.
The public relations business will play a key role in halting the spread of fake news. Misinformation can be extremely detrimental, and in this day and age of social media, public relations professionals must take the lead in preventing the spread of false information. In 2021, the public relations industry will become more active in recognizing misleading information and correcting and clarifying it.social media, public relations professionals must take the lead in preventing the spread of false information. In 2021, the public relations industry will become more active in recognizing misleading information and correcting and clarifying it.
Users who promote controversy or misinformation appear to be receiving a harsher response from social media platforms (Trump-Twitter, Facebook-Australia), while influencers have had posts removed where they have inadvertently/intentionally broken terms of service. Before committing to a paid post, firms looking to harness KOLs must conduct due research, and this is an area where your PR partner can provide experienced guidance to help you avoid wasting money. Local rules also come into play, such as Thailand's prohibition on alcohol advertising, which is especially crucial for firms sending out regional communications. If you're unsure, talk to your PR partner and let them do the legwork on what's needed.social media platforms (Trump-Twitter, Facebook-Australia), while influencers have had posts removed where they have inadvertently/intentionally broken terms of service. Before committing to a paid post, firms looking to harness KOLs must conduct due research, and this is an area where your PR partner can provide experienced guidance to help you avoid wasting money. Local rules also come into play, such as Thailand's prohibition on alcohol advertising, which is especially crucial for firms sending out regional communications. If you're unsure, talk to your PR partner and let them do the legwork on what's needed.
With many countries imposing stay-at-home restrictions and/or curfews, the rapid acceptance of home shopping, home delivery food, and fully-remote workstation installations is having a significant impact and is likely to continue. The development of Coronavirus has also prompted us to confront the impact of our customers' actions on the environment. Consumer pressure on food and beverage packaging firms, for example, is driving the development of a 100 percent recyclable, carbon-neutral beverage container. Only responsibly produced renewable/recycled materials will be used in such a package, which must also exceed food safety regulations (read more on this item here).
Travel restrictions, as well as their effects on enterprises and supply chains, have resulted in delays and procedural problems for operators across the board. We've observed a tremendous appetite for innovation in Asia as a means of helping businesses to develop and be competitive while also addressing the requirements of customers. Supply chains are being protected and revitalized with promising technology, and blockchain, a permanent and transparent contract validation tool, is already being used on a daily basis by Siam Cement Group in its materials purchase processes and by KBank in its bonds department. New platforms that make blockchain technology available to all types of organizations are assisting firms in overcoming time-consuming/labor-intensive processes, and Blockchain for Procure-to-Pay (B2P) appears to be on the verge of becoming ubiquitous.
Businesses are under even more pressure to keep expenses under control and to be flexible in their marketing, with the capacity to scale up or down rapidly as needed. We're getting a lot of requests from clients looking for PR help for a short period of time (one, two, or three months). One-month programs are cost-effective and work well with online event-based promotion, or simply to test the waters before committing to a longer, more traditional one-year retainer agreement; 3-month contracts provide the client with the benefits of a fully-integrated channel mix, as well as the deployment of slower-burn brand-building activities like owned content creation, with the added benefit of scalability. Framework agreements can also be set up for one-year contracts, giving you the most flexibility in terms of making ad hoc program additions as needed.
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