As you know, Public Relations is one of the most effective ways to build on marketing strategies and can help minimize reputation issues, if done correctly. The role and responsibilities of public relations have completely changed since the pandemic. It has become an integral part of marketing plans now, and there have been numerous studies on its effectiveness already. One of the major PR strategies that companies are focusing more on is- finding the right balance between keeping their brands relevant and staying in tune with what’s happening without coming across as insensitive.
The traditional method of doing PR has nearly been neutralized. Outdoor campaigns, doing product giveaways, and stale templates of corporate press releases, all these strategies of the PR industry have all been nullified by the magnitude of the storm created by the pandemic. The press releases have become very targeted, refined, and innovative with a personal touch. Brands have become very conscious and are navigating the PR industry carefully to get amazing organic results. According to the Business Research Company’s report, the public relations market is expected to reach $149.44 billion in 2026 at a CAGR of 9.8%.
There is a rising need to gain a competitive advantage that is driving the public relations market. USC Annenberg’s 2022 study found that PR agencies have grown 30% over the last five years as more companies are outsourcing efforts. It’s an evolutionary moment for PR in particular. While it’s very difficult to forecast what fluctuations will be seen in the coming times, here is a list of the following strategies that are helping organisations recalibrate their PR plans to gain the trust of their audience.
One of the best ways to leverage PR is by tapping into current events. Designing your CSR activities, presence on social media platforms, or planning an event that people can genuinely connect with are helping businesses get more traction. The authors of Gruffalo, a children’s book, released a picture book series using characters from the book to help kids understand social distancing and the changes happening in their world. Through cheerful drawings, the book characters raised awareness among kids and young people on how to deal with the pandemic. It was a great move that skyrocketed the sales of the book and brought it into the centre of a trending topic, increased consumer engagement and brand awareness.
The key here is to strike when a story is fresh. This enables you to produce content that could add to the story itself and attract journalists as they always scramble for additional information. If you make this move, you’ll have a better chance of getting media attention for your company.
Better Together: Integrate Social Media and PR
The internet has given people the ability to connect easily and flattened the levels of communication to another level. Modern public relations are now leveraging social media as an essential tool, and going straight to the people who care about their message. As per MuckRack’s 2019 study, 83% of journalists use Twitter professionally, as compared to other networks. Therefore, social media is a valuable tool for connecting with journalists, a vital PR activity.
Online communities are increasingly becoming an online source of word of mouth to exchange views and experiences about brands. Many upcoming brands use these communities to take feedback and understand customers’ needs and expectations. As per the survey from Olapic and Cite Research, 51% of respondents trust other consumers more than they do brands. This means that having the recommendation of a customer’s peers or favorite influencers carries more weight than traditional trust signals.
Consider Using Influencers
Influencers are the new buzz in marketing and their role is becoming bigger day by day. Due to the increasing popularity of social media, every social media user has a big influence on others. A personal relationship with opinion leaders always goes in favour of brands/organizations and is a smart way to reach the public. In the time of Covid-19, Gymshark, a sports clothing brand, has grown exponentially through the power of social media and influencers. The clothes were promoted by athletes that wear sportswear anyway. The brand is currently valued at $1.3 billion and the founder, Ben Francis, has a personal net worth of $1,015 billion as of 2020.
Nowadays people are searching for real experiences from trustworthy and accessible sources. Therefore, it is an affordable, subtle, and effective way of improving brand recognition. In the visual industry (clothes, makeup, home decor, interior design, food), influencer marketing could change the PR strategy for the better.
Partnering up with your competitors is a great idea in a lot of cases. You are bringing two teams together to bring out the strengths in both of them. Each company will promote each other and its benefits, even beyond the PR effect. The Mastercard and Apple Pay PR collaboration was extremely good for the brand’s PR. The launch of the Apple Pay app meant users could store their debit card information on their Apple products and use it to make payments.
MasterCard became the first company to pair with the Apple Pay app which meant Apple allowed their customers to make secure transactions (no card needed) and MasterCard showed their customers that they are constantly moving with the times. This shows that partnering up with another brand can do a lot of good from a PR perspective.
As traditional PR strategies are phasing out, it’s more competitive than ever before to capture attention and spread positive brand messages. Therefore, only diversified mediums and approaches can help you own your audience for future campaigns.