There is never a dull moment in the PR industry, and if you spend too much time standing still, you are bound to get left behind. Markets currently predict that both the public relations and marketing sector are primed for growth over the next year and beyond. Here is a quick look at some of the top industry trends to be aware of and stay on top of in 2017.
The Power of Storytelling
One of the biggest trends to hit the PR industry is the recognition that effective PR is less about selling and more about storytelling. Creating engaging, and visually compelling stories for customers is what is driving the market today. PR companies who can use behavioral data, metrics and insights to create personalized content that connects with individuals on an emotional level will find themselves in high demand. The ability to convey a message through branded customized content and storytelling will redefine the traditional PR media role.
Integration of PR and SEO
In the ever-shifting climate of PR, it stands to reason that PR and SEO must work together. PR professionals need to be familiar with SEO optimization and web analytics. When it comes to content, quality and relevance have replaced sheer quantity as a key metric. It began with Google’s algorithm update, which penalized backlinks, keyword stuffing, and other deceptive SEO strategies in favor of quality content. Therefore, optimization is the key to shared content, and proficiency in SEO basics is mandatory.
Parallel to this are “implied links”, a new development that simply mentions brands that appear in earned or shared media. They are highly visible and difficult to track because of the absence of a true link. Google seems to be working on a formula for tracking implied links and filed a patent many feel is evidence as such in 2014. PR would definitely benefit from the ability to gather data from what is currently very hard-to-measure mentions.
The Power of Video
Few would argue that the world is becoming a much more visual place, and watching videos seems to be the medium of choice. Some estimates state that the average person watches over 32 videos per month, and all indications are that this pattern will continue to grow in the future. A recent report from Cisco predicted that 75% of the world’s mobile traffic will be video by 2020. Even if this estimate is overly ambitious, live video is racking up billions of views on Facebook, Periscope and other social media platforms. Whether using live video streaming, pre-recorded videos or other visual content, such as images and slide shows, effective PR campaigns will fail or succeed based on the strength of their visual tools, especially on social media.