Public Relations Trends for 2016

Change… an essential component of thriving industry. And, fortunately, public relations professionals will witness another year of unprecedented change in 2016. With the continued transformation of traditional media, development of online media outlets and rapid growth of social media, the PR industry grows more and more diverse.

That said… here are the top industry trends for 2016:

  1. Visuals.

    A picture is worth (at least) a thousand words. And today’s harried consumers truly value a well-placed image. PR professionals are using more visuals –images, info graphics, digital brochures and video content – to convey their messages.

  2. Mobile.

    Look around the room… What are people doing? Most likely, at least one person is looking at his or her phone. Today’s PR professionals must send messages through social media platforms in order to reach target audiences. And they must understand how strategic content can boost their posts.

  3. Nostalgia.

    Terrorism. Natural disasters. Mass shootings. Today’s news is often dismal. So many PR professionals seek to offset those troubling headlines with cozy, calming messages. And what is more comforting than ‘the good old days.’ More and more often, strategic messaging will inspire nostalgia.

  4. Real-Time Messaging.

    Social media encourages us to live in the moment. Oftentimes, strategic PR and marketing campaigns resemble an ongoing conversation between communications professionals and their target audiences. When possible, messaging should relate to current events.

  5. Paid Reach Campaigns.

    The ability to send a message loud and clear through all the buzz on social media presents a challenge for most PR professionals. So many choose to pay for reach. According to the Content Marketing institute’s 2016 benchmark report, paid reach campaigns are becoming more and more effective.

  6. Makeovers.

    Traditional press releases won’t survive in modern times. But, with a good makeover, they can still catch an editor’s eye. Press releases must be short, sweet and to the point. Visual content is helpful as well.

  7. Number games.

    There are new ways to measure ROI (return on investment) for public relations campaigns. In a recent article titled “Emerging Models of PR Measurement,” PRWeek listed a growing number of ROI measurement strategies for calculating the positive impact of public relations campaigns.

  8. Personalized messages.

    Good content speaks to the individual.  When a consumer encounters a message that reads like a personal note, he or she is likely to respond.

  9. Internet Presence.

    If a journalist or editor googles a PR professional’s name and finds nothing, he or she is likely to push the person’s press release aside. And what’s worse than nothing? Negative content. PR professionals must monitor and update their internet presence.

  10. Storytelling.

    Stories establish connections. They can make people laugh and cry and feel more human. And they are perfect marketing tools for PR professionals.

As the field of communications changes and grows, it keeps PR professionals on their toes… reaching for new heights with better content, better messaging and better reach. And it just keeps getting better!

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