10 global PR trends to look out for in 2022

by | Jan 4, 2022 | Public Relations

As we embark on 2022, it’s clear to see that the COVID-19 pandemic isn’t the only thing continuously evolving. With more e-commerce businesses moving online than ever before and a digital world growing at a rapid rate, 2022 is sure to be a busy year for PR professionals.

From COP26’s impact on the future of green content to the 2022 World Cup kicking racism off of the pitch, here are some of the biggest PR trend predictions for the year ahead and how you can jump on the bandwagon before your competitors.

1. Content is going green

On the back of the globe’s most powerful COP meeting to date in November 2021, it’s no surprise that PR experts are jumping on to the future of ‘Green Branding’ in 2022.

10 global PR trends to look out for in 2022

(Image Source: Emarketer)

As we can see above, adopting a sustainable branding strategy has become a vital part of content creation over the past 5 years as more active consumers continue to demand an ethical and valued experience from the brands they choose to interact with.

In fact, 36 percent of PR experts have suggested that going green is an easy way to increase the growth and awareness of their clients. Amongst a climate focused audience, 20 percent have already started incorporating sustainability into their campaigns due to consumer pressure alone, making it a vital component for successful 2022 campaigns.

2. The World Cup kicking racism off of the pitch

2022 also welcomes in the next World Cup, making football one of the most topical campaign trends we are predicted to see next year.

With a taster from the 2021 Euros already making its way into many of the year’s Christmas advertising campaigns, it’s clear that sport could be a dominating trend for many of 2022’s PR agenda.

Take the Sports Direct Christmas advert for example. This £6 million ad starring the likes of football’s Jack Grealish and Mason Mount received over 10 million views within a day of the release, quickly climbing the ranks to be one of the most popular PR successes this season.

10 global PR trends to look out for in 2022

(Image Source: Sports Direct)

The question is, could the 2022 world cup inject diversity into the PR agenda, as smart marketers use the games to take a stand on political issues surrounding the sport?

On the back of negative headlines surrounding racism within the 2021 euros, the 2022 world cup is predicted to cause political fireworks amongst countries, players, and of course fans.

There will be a lot of opportunities here for brands to deliver their stand on diversity within sport, especially after news reports revealed that over 70 percent of consumers expect their favorite brands to support and speak up about important political issues.

3. Competitive times for outreachers

As e-commerce is predicted to keep growing in 2022, so is the competition between brands and their fight to rank higher than their opponents.

Your outbound PR strategy could therefore be key this year to achieving success amongst competitors. Whether you’re focusing on improving your SEO or increasing your content outreach in the form of guest posting and in-content backlinks, 2022 is all about improving business awareness across the online sphere.

Therefore, it might be time to brush up on those blogging skills and most importantly start making some connections, as 2022 could be the most competitive year yet for global outreach efforts!

4. Augmented advertising

For PR professionals with a larger budget, 2022 is all about getting immersive with your campaign strategy. As the potential of social media continues to expand and immersive tech becomes a trend of the present, rather than the future, this next year could be the time to strike on immersive forms of business promotion.

In fact, AR’s potential within PR planning is being picked up by smart marketers on the back of the pandemic. After post-Covid research by McKinsey revealed that the digitalization of customer interactions increased by a global 58 percent in 2021 alone, it’s no surprise that old forms of PR success are predicted to become stagnant in the new year.

5. TikTok will continue to dominate

As the pandemic pushed over half of the world’s population onto social media platforms, PR professionals have had to adapt at a rapid rate.

As influencer marketing stands as one of 2021’s most successful PR strategies, it’s no surprise that smart PR experts are turning to TikTok for victory in 2022.

10 global PR trends to look out for in 2022

(Image Source: App Annie)

With TikTok consumers set to surpass 1.5 billion by 2022, this social media platform will become one of the fastest-growing online hubs since Facebook and Instagram.

If you’re a PR professional who is looking to increase brand awareness and engagement in the new year, this platform could be the place to strike. Home to one of the most active consumer groups on the internet, TikTok has just about every niche you can think of, making it the perfect place to target 2022 campaigns.

6. It’s all about the numbers

2022 will be all about the numbers. With more analytic programs than ever before, smart marketers need to start tracking and reviewing their campaign success to stay on top of competitors.

Not only can analytic programs such as Finteza and Google Analytics improve your targeting predictions and engagement insight, but they also give you a deeper understanding of your audience.

Using analytic programs to take an audit of your demographic can improve campaign planning and platform targeting, as you will have a greater insight into their age, behavior and the trends that will keep them engaged.

Better still, as active digital audiences continue to change and new trends continue to surface, knowing your demographic inside and out will help you beat competitors to it when jumping on new trends and viral moments.

7. Thought leadership could be the key to brand recognition

Could though leadership be the key to business success in 2022? Entrepreneur Magazine thinks so. After revealing that a whopping 55 percent of consumers evaluate a company’s position as an industry leader before engaging or purchasing products and services, it could be time for savvy PR professionals to switch up their strategy.

10 global PR trends to look out for in 2022

(Image Source: Smarp’s Blog)

Smart PR managers are strategically positioning themselves as highly visible industry leaders, in order to increase SEO authority and consumer trust.

As you can see above, becoming a thought leader is all about increasing brand recognition, and speaking through your content. Create campaigns that demand industry authority and most importantly be confident in your niche for success over your competitors.

8. Newsjacking’s rising virality

Newsjacking might just be our favorite rising trend for 2022.

Defined by Agility PR as “the action of taking a piece of the news and recreating an interpretation of it that promotes or highlights your brand in the process” it’s no surprise that the pandemic’s push online has only enhanced its capabilities.

With 2022’s viral stories only around the corner, PR experts are already preparing to jump on the trending topics. The key here is to get creative, humorous and pick the right platform.

Our advice is to keep on top of Twitter’s trending hashtags in 2022 and start incorporating them into your content creation. Using trending stories to promote your branding is a quick and cost-efficient way to go viral online, increasing brand awareness, engagement, and following in the new year.

9. Live video PR

Another PR trend that cannot be ignored moving into 2022 is the new wave of popularity associated with live video. In fact, since 2016, the amount of people engaging with live video has doubled, making it one of the most popular forms of brand promotion and PR success in the new year.

10 global PR trends to look out for in 2022

(Image Source: Hubspot)

As you can see, nearly 70 percent of digital consumers prefer to learn about a service or a product through the means of video. Whether that is a Tiktok, Instagram Story, or even a Youtube advertisement, in order to feed customers what they are looking for, PR professionals need to primp their campaign outreach strategy in the new year.

10. A larger Gen Z audience than ever before

Did you know that more than 98 percent of Gen Z own a smartphone?  As they quickly become the next generation’s consumers, it’s time for you to turn your PR efforts in their direction in 2022.

10 global PR trends to look out for in 2022

(Image Source: 99 Firms)

As you can see here, over half of Gen Z smartphone users are online for more than 5 hours a day, making them the most active consumer group alive, and in turn, one of the most crucial campaign targets.

Therefore, 2022 should be the year you get to know them if you haven’t already. This group of under 30-year-olds are smarter than any other and will call you out for cutting corners. Creating a PR campaign for Gen Z consumers is all about targeting ethics and diversity.

In fact, studies have shown that 58 percent of Gen Z are much more likely to engage with PR campaigns that speak directly to their personalities and the causes they are passionate about.

So, why not begin 2022 by getting to know your audience a little better. Find out their passions and note down what makes them tick. 2022’s PR agenda will be all about adaptation. Adapting to new audiences, ever-changing trends, and of course the global trajectory as we head out of the Covid era.

Rebecca Barnatt-Smith
Rebecca Barnatt-Smith is a UK-based freelance journalist and multimedia marketing executive.