Like a good PR pitch, I’ll keep this intro brief. Here are the top three changes to PR that are top of mind for the upcoming year and beyond.
1. Influencer marketing isn’t going anywhere – but it’s changing rapidly.
Last year, multiple expose-esque articles seemed to turn the tide on influencers – especially the huge ones. Consumers no longer trust these mega-influencers, causing PR and other marketing folks to focus on the much more trustworthy (and niche!) micro-influencers.
As PR folks continue to work with (and pay) Instagrammers and other influencers, it’s important to stay on top of FTC rules and regulations and take the lead on educating our clients on how to use influencer marketing legally – to protect both our client’s brand and ourselves.
2. Trust is just as important as reach – if not more important.
In the fake news era, it’s more important than ever to know your target audience. Placing a top-tier outlet is worth nothing if your audience doesn’t trust the outlet. The 2019 Edelman Trust Barometer is a fascinating deep dive into how trust has shifted in the past years – specifically away from traditional media. Which media does your target audience trust the most?
3. Artificial intelligence…maybe?
Last year, a new report by Canadian public relations consultant and founding member and past chair of the Global Alliance for Public Relations and Communication Management, Jean Valin, predicted the number of PR skills currently being supported by AI technology will increase three times in the next five years. But, the report also stated many skills should “remain the domain of humans,” going on to say:
AI can be incredibly useful, but if it is used without complementing human awareness, it can be detrimental. We need humans to think creatively and abstractly about problems to devise new and innovative strategies, test out different approaches and look to the future. Parts of what we do – or in some cases entire tasks – are or will be automated and will benefit from AI.
What changes do you see coming to PR in 2019 or beyond?