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PR in 2024: 4 ways technology will change the PR landscape in the year ahead

by | Jan 4, 2024 | Public Relations

It’s no secret that the traditional public relations landscape is undergoing a significant transformation fueled by technological advancements like AI. In fact, a 2023 survey found that 61 percent of PR professionals use AI or are interested in using AI in their daily work. The profession is in the midst of an accelerated urgency to adopt cutting-edge technology—to streamline processes, engage new audiences, amplify brands and meet clients’ goals. Those who embrace it are enhancing creativity, efficiency and productivity. Those who don’t risk being left behind. 

At RH Strategic Communications, we work to be more than a few steps ahead of the trends to be a leader in technology and the PR industry for our clients. Here’s where we see the technology landscape in PR evolving in 2024.  

New world, new rules: Expect even more sophisticated policies around ChatGPT use

Everyone is investing in ChatGPT. Some will get it right, some will falter. Employees at all levels will likely over rotate into using it and there may be a moment when professionals start to pull back—sometimes you need to get close to the edge to know when to stop. Companies and firms will need to put formal policies and guidelines in place for its use and stay ready to adapt them as the technology progresses.  

If 2023 was a year of explosive technological advancement, 2024 will be a year that includes addressing the usefulness, appropriateness and impact of those advancements.  

As public relations professionals, we are exposed to confidential information, often unknown to the public. When asking ChatGPT for support, it’s essential not to include identifying details or private information. That’s why communications and public relations teams will also have to identify rules for engagement to ensure the security of confidential information. From that foundation, communications professionals will then have to determine how we interact with and maximize technology.  

More than earned media: Expanding PR programs to encompass paid content and distribution

Technology companies will expand their PR programs to include paid social and digital marketing even more to reach key audiences in 2024. Media relations is only one component of brand building, so it’s critical to take a holistic approach that also includes paid content and social marketing, SEO, digital advertising and lead generation strategies to achieve business objectives.  

We will see an increased usage of ChatGPT and similar tools, as agencies experiment with how to create more content faster, while preserving content integrity for their marketing efforts and clients. Those who do not will fall behind competitors. Quickly. 

Sustainability and technology: Strategies to implement, scale and communicate these efforts will be in high demand

In 2024, the convergence of sustainability and technology will mark a transformative era for businesses. We have reached a tipping point in collective awareness and commitment to addressing environmental challenges as societies increasingly embrace the undeniable reality of climate change. Solutions brought to market by startups supporting clean energy transition, circular economy, sustainable agriculture and land use, will scale as individuals and companies allocate financial resources toward this change. Technology will be the linchpin in this transition, facilitating the efficient allocation of resources and providing streamlined mechanisms for businesses to implement and scale sustainable programs. Technology will empower companies to optimize their processes, reduce environmental footprints and embrace eco-friendly practices. 

Simultaneously, leaders within organizations will find themselves compelled to integrate sustainability into their core strategies and consider how best to communicate their commitment in an authentic, transparent way. Core to smart communications programs will be the emphasis that sustainable practices are not merely desirable for a more sustainable future but imperative for long-term business success. This interconnectedness of sustainability and technology represents a fundamental shift in how businesses operate, aligning profit motives with planetary well-being. 

The rise of LinkedIn: While other social platforms struggle, this stalwart will thrive

We’ve seen Facebook and X, or the platform formerly known as Twitter, descend into chaos. Sometimes new levels of chaos every day. When these sites turned against actual news, people flocked to LinkedIn for meaningful connections with their peers and exchanging ideas in an environment that supports fact and thoughtful conversations.  

Next year, more professionals will turn to this medium as a way to share their insights and expertise, fostering a community that values substance over sensationalism. Unlike other social media platforms, LinkedIn’s technology is designed to prioritize professional interactions and knowledge-sharing. In a digital landscape where the credibility of information is scrutinized, LinkedIn’s commitment to fostering thoughtful conversations positions it as a reliable platform for business leaders to shape their online presence. As executives navigate the complexities of modern communication, we think LinkedIn will become an even more important component of elevating trusted thought leadership programs. 

As we look toward 2024, the need for PR professionals to integrate technology solutions into their strategies has never been more apparent. Now is the time to  embrace these technologies to stay relevant and maintain a competitive edge for clients. Remaining thoughtful and creative in our approaches will be the very human touchstones necessary to do our best work in the coming year. 

Hally Wax, Bonnie McLaughlin, Emily Porro and Melissa Terry
Hally Wax is Senior Vice President and Technology Practice Lead, Bonnie McLaughlin is Vice President and Public Affairs Lead, Emily Porro is Senior Vice President and IMPACT Practice Lead, and Melissa Terry is Content Director at RH Strategic Communications.

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