A recent survey revealed that 73 percent of PR professionals don’t believe the term “public relations” will describe the work that needs to be done in 5 years, suggesting the industry’s continuous transformation. It also revealed that PR budgets either increased (45 percent) or stayed the same (50 percent) in 2021, according to B2B marketplace DesignRush.
The firm leveraged its 13,000-agencies-strong network for quick insights—or “QuickSights”—on the PR trends businesses should watch throughout the rest of 2022.
1) Thought leadership
According to Sylvia Zanetti, managing director at Stratitude, thought leadership is a proven tactic that helps businesses improve their PR and content marketing efforts to gain a competitive advantage.
“With the B2B sales environment getting increasingly more competitive, and decision-makers seeing little or no differentiation between competitors, there is a clever tactic that marketers should pay more attention to – thought leadership,” said Zanetti. “We are increasingly seeing how this is the silver bullet in our clients’ PR and content marketing arsenal.”
2) Influencer marketing
In the opinion of Tony Felice, president at Felice Agency, in 2022, businesses should hire influencer marketers who are well versed in their particular sectors to deliver authentic branding.
“[…] Agencies should have [one person] dedicated to Influencer Marketing who understands an influencer’s niche, audience and suitability; and to pitch clever and interesting ideas that MUST be rooted in authenticity for the integration to be believable,” said Felice.
Glad U Came founder Maddie Amrutkar adds that influencers play a vital role in helping businesses reach their potential customers and turn them into loyal clients.
“[…] Digital PR has taken the industry by storm with engagement and promotions in various strategies to build a brand’s identity,” said Amrutkar. “Influencers play the most important role in determining a brand’s success or failure in a digital world like 2022. They assist the brand in reaching its target audience and establishing a loyal customer base.”
3) Podcasts & video content
EloQ Communications Managing Director Dr. Clāra Ly-Le believes that new content types such as podcasts and short videos will help businesses improve their PR strategies in 2022.
“In the crowded marketing landscape, brands need to get creative with new trends to cut through the noise,” said Ly-Le. “In 2022, the rise of new content formats (podcasts and short videos) […] are the trends that will drive the PR industry to a new height.”
4) Inclusion, diversity & awareness
Stephanie Chong, founder and director at noodPR suggests that in 2022 businesses should integrate inclusion, diversity and awareness in their PR strategies.
“In the current climate, we must take inclusion, diversity and awareness into account across all PR and digital marketing strategies,” said Chong. “In a world where we are now able to identify as one (or none) of the 78 pronouns, we ought to be more considerate in the way we pitch journalists. Social, gender, environmental, political and cultural awareness are at the height of sensitivity today.
This means one must do research, know your audience and be cognizant of how [to] pitch and build relationships with the editorial community. Although it’s impossible to reach perfection in this aspect (since it’s impossible to know everything), the least we can do is to learn to do better.”
5) Content creators
Bridges M&C founder and Asia-Pacific regional account director Nanny Eliana claims that the increased screen time amidst the pandemic increased the consumption of content but also changed the way PR content is created.
“Increased screen time, thanks to work from home (WFH) arrangements, has only increased the consumption of content at an unprecedented rate compared to before the pandemic, which has encouraged content creators to create more content in a shorter time frame,” said Eliana.
“This has changed the way we do PR. While traditional media outlets and their digital platforms have been overrun with stories about the pandemic, PR consultants are enjoying success from seizing upon the opportunity to assist their clients to become content creators, or become content creators themselves.”