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3 evolving PR strategies that will dominate the digital age

by | Aug 7, 2023 | Public Relations

The PR industry is constantly evolving. As we step into a technologically dominated marketing sector, what we once defined as public relations is undergoing some serious renovation.

From campaigning in the metaverse to the introduction of hybrid strategies, digital PR is on the move. In fact, a whopping 63 percent of PR agencies have now increased their digital spending in 2023 just to stay ahead of the new online curve. 

“When looking back at how the industry has grown, it’s safe to say that we’re not done taking on new projects and skills,” says Kelly Ehlers, Founder and President of The Evoke Agency.

“Gone are the days of simply sending out news releases to journalists. Newsrooms are constantly shrinking, and the digital world continues to expand, changing how the world consumes its media. PR professionals are evolving, forced to think outside the box for fun, creative opportunities to help our clients.”

As consumer demands for online brands increase, we’re looking at a future of hyper-personalisation, multi-device media and creative campaigning. With that in mind, let’s have a closer look at three digitally-hot PR strategies dominating the new digital age.

Virtual events

The pandemic pushed many PR agencies to engage with their targets via virtual means. From social media campaigns to live virtual events, what was traditionally defined as PR changed overnight.

Transforming the traditional ‘PR event’, experts have since begun to adapt to a new digitized way to deliver experiences to journalists, key stakeholders and, of course, their target affiliates. From virtual press conferences to maintaining a face-to-face relationship via the screen, the transition has been welcomed by a number of PR professionals. 

“The transition has been seamless, something which otherwise would not have been an easy task. In work set-ups, everyone tries to avoid the change and looks at pushing back anything new which is being introduced,” comments Abhinav Srivastava, COO of SPAG Asia. “For example, video conferencing would have been easy to plan virtual connects, but now it has become the engagement tool among teams in different cities.”

3 evolving PR strategies that will dominate the digital age

(Image Source: Funds2Orgs)

“Today, everyone has adopted the new-age tech conferencing via Teams, Zoom, and Meets and has become much savvier with virtual events. Many other verticals like Sales and Investor Relations, who have been into the mega meet, are also exploring newer avenues in building virtual events for employee motivation or shareholders engagement, “ he continues.

The question is, where could virtual conferencing go next?

Pushing for the metaverse

The metaverse has become the next topic of conversation for PR professionals hosting live events in a digital space. As a platform based on the wonders of virtual reality, the metaverse gives marketers the chance to connect with their audience in a way they never have before.

Bringing elements of immersivity to the table, brands have since leveraged the metaverse for their PR campaigning. From Nikeland to Gucci world, Web3 has become a key destination for organic product placement, hyper-realistic virtual events and targeting global demographics. 

In fact, according to a new study, over 45 percent of PR professionals plan to incorporate the metaverse into their campaigning strategy in 2023. 

3 evolving PR strategies that will dominate the digital age

(Image Source: Startup Slang)

A further 71 percent of PR professionals have claimed that their key focus in the metaverse is to create virtual environments for B2C and B2B events. 

“While multimillion-dollar video-game and movie-quality experiences are part of the metaverse for brands, the majority of metaverse events for communicators will be focused on creating connections and engagement at a much lower price point,” says Douglas Simon, CEO of DS Simon Media.

“Metaverse conferences transform virtual events from experts spewing information to the audience to panelist participants actively engaging with audience participants and each other” 

Hybrid campaigning

In a post-Covid PR world, hybrid campaigning has become the new normal for a number of high-profile brands.

A hybrid campaign uses a mix of traditional and digital marketing strategies to create awareness for your brand in a physical and digital setting. Rather than solely focusing on in-person events or a social campaign, hybrid marketing combines these efforts for a chance to target your audience from all angles. 

Taking time to work on your digital PR strategies, such as SEO, domain registration and social media posting, is crucial for raising your brand credibility and awareness online. While your in-person events nurture the relationships formed online for a guaranteed shot at success. 

A great example of this comes from the B2B marketing giant HubSpot. Transforming their annual INBOUND conference, they have since taken a hybrid approach to in-person event hosting.

After the 2021 conference was virtual only, the company have since come back with a hybrid in-person event. While attendees can choose to be in the room, the newest INBOUND conference was live-streamed for an online audience. 

3 evolving PR strategies that will dominate the digital age

(Image Source: HubSpot)

Better still, the PR team at HubSpot also leveraged new technological advancements during the event, such as live virtual avatars, networking spaces for online media, and accessible chat functions for in-person audiences to share their live experience with online watchers. 

Strategies that will dominate a digital age

Did you know that 86 percent of PR professionals have increased their brand awareness and credibility by simply leveraging just one digital marketing channel? 

Whether you’re tapping into the metaverse or spicing up your social campaigning, it’s no secret that digital platforms and aids are the future of PR success. Not only are marketers able to capture larger audiences, but an online world opens up endless opportunities for creative and engaging campaigning. 

These change factors and innovations across the digital landscape must be monitored by PR teams, as modern-day audiences expect brands to adapt instantly to digital trends. 

“No matter what industry, topic or niche, an event can only be a trend if it covers three areas: basic needs, change factors and innovations. As long as your communication strategy covers all three components, your brand should attract audiences,” says Alexander Storozhuk, Founder of PRNEWS.IO. “When planning a public relations campaign, keep current trends and subjects in mind.”

The question is, how will you start your deep dive into a digital tomorrow?

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

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