Public relations is a steadily evolving industry expected to be worth $129 billion by 2025 according to MeltWater. The industry is experiencing deviations from traditional business ways to new innovative ways that adapt to the changing human interaction and communication systems. Social networks are the modern-day bread and butter of the PR industry. PR agencies have to keep tabs on the changing trends to retain their connection with their target audience.
Public Relations Trends
Media Kix has determined that PR agencies have grown by 30% over the last five years. This growth can be attributed to the increasing need for public relations services globally. Businesses are seeing better ROI when using public relations agencies as compared to corporate communication departments which only grew by 12% during the same period.
The growth of fake news and overreporting has led to reduced public trust. Over 71% of journalists believe that the public trust has declined in the last three years. The rise of misinformation, overreporting, and underreporting has led to reduced trust. Public relations professionals now have to be very selective on what to report and how to report it. They must make their case compelling enough to earn the trust of the reader.
The role of influencers in the public relations field is increasing. TikTok for example has over 1.5 billion users in 2022 according to AgilityPR, making it a great platform for influencers. People that have huge followings on social media platforms are becoming an avenue for advertisers to reach their target market. These influencers take are gifted at building huge followings on social media platforms of specific groups of people. Over 60% of public relations executives believe that these influencers are the future of PR.
Although many companies will hire public relations services, hardly do they involve them in the marketing strategy teams. Only 19% of the public relations companies are involved in the marketing strategy decision-making. This trend is worrying as the two departments are increasingly getting intertwined. The company image is important for both departments and communication and marketing strategies need to be aligned, especially since 55% of consumers evaluate a company’s position before purchasing products or services according to AgilityPR.
Stories are the future of marketing and public relations. Over 88% of public relations executives and 80% of marketers believe that digital storytelling is the future of communication given that 75% of Americans are familiar with podcasts according to entrepreneur.com. As competition increases and viewers are exposed to thousands of advertisements on a daily basis, stories make a company stand out. The ability of stories to reach the emotive parts of the audience makes them the best suitable way to reach out to them. Public relations officers will have the challenge of creating compelling stories to reach out to their audience.
The scope of public relations work is shifting. Public relations executives believe that in five years’ time, the scope of their work will be different from what was traditionally known as public relations. Keep an eye on new ways of communicating as web development and online content become more accessible to all.