It’s difficult to believe that we are more than halfway finished with 2019 — where does the time go? — and I thought now was the time to discuss three specific trends I’ve noticed over the past five years in the PR sector. (Hopefully this post will give you something to think about during the “dog days of summer.”)
Continued Loss of Trust in the Traditional Media
This has and will remain a big issue for PR professionals for a long time to come. Since the Brexit referendum and the 2016 US election, popular interest and trust in traditional news sources and media bureaus is at an all time low in the West. This is especially true in the United Kingdom and in the United States where the media has persisted in polarizing large swaths of the population. Regardless of one’s political affiliations and person views, I think most in the PR sector would agree that it has never been more difficult to separate truths from politicized soundbites. As a result, it’s of vital importance for PR professionals to better understand their audiences and seek the voices that they’re wanting to hear. Expertise is still valued after all.
PR Merges with Content Management
When I think of content marketing, I think fondly of my old team at Ancient History Encyclopedia (AHE) and of how we were able to align content marketing and our PR offensive via social media. AHE now has over 700K social media followers as well as thousands of members. While it’s undoubtedly important to promote your brand, I feel as though one has to strike a balance between strategic self-promotion and delivering what your audience values most. (For AHE, this was the curation of high-quality resources.) I believe that PR professions will continue to see content marketing merging with PR because the latter is intricately connected to an organization’s reputation and revenue.
Communication at a Global Level
One of the great joys I had over the past decade in PR management was working with international colleagues from all walks of life. Collaborating with with media, research, and corporate professionals on six continents, I needed to navigate over the pitfalls of intercultural miscommunication that routinely arise in PR. The world continues to become a smaller place, and I tell all my clients and friends to read up on intercultural communication. (A great starting point is An Introduction to Intercultural Communication: Identities in a Global Community by Fred E. Jandt.) Conducting some elementary research ahead of a business meeting or project has helped me in avoiding glaring gaffes and sticky situations. There’s a lot to lose in this day and age, so it is better to play safe than be sorry. It only take one poor impression to ruin a reputation!
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