By Alexa Solis
Being part of a student firm can teach students a lot ⎯ client relations, developing content and strategic planning. But it can also teach you something else, something that maybe you didn’t think of when choosing strategic communications as your future career. Following PR trends doesn’t just help direct the work that you create for your firm, but it can also help lend some direction to your career and even education.
So just what is happening in the world of PR that you should know about? Here’s a brief run-down of some PR trends in 2016 that are most likely here to stay.
Content is the new Black
Sending out press releases and crafting delightful advertisements just isn’t enough in the day of the Internet. Instead, carefully crafted content is the way to a consumer’s heart when brands are looking to cultivate a presence online. Remember to consider messaging and your client’s brand in everything you create because in today’s landscape, there is no better way to connect with your target audience.
Social Media Can’t Be Stopped
We all know that an effective use of social media is a vital part of almost any communications plan, but are you hip to the idea of paid promotions and posting? If not, it’s time to get familiar, according to Forbes Magazine 50 percent of B2B marketing professionals use it as a method of distributing content.
Don’t Let Ad-blockers Rain on Your Parade
With such a large portion of adults on social media, and an even larger proportion on the Internet, it’s no wonder that companies and advertisers want to target consumers on their home turf. However, it’s important to understand that many of those same adults use ad-blocking software (and honestly who could blame them). According to the Pew Research Center, 45 million Americans use the software.
So what is a PR practitioner to do? Be aware of the numbers because they’re likely to rise in the coming years, and advise your clients accordingly. Know the key demographics of ad-blocker users and utilize that information to create an effective communications plan, rather than one that is doomed to fall short.
Monitor Social Media Conversations
With trolls, happy and unhappy customers, one of the hardest things to control in a digitally run space can be your client’s image. But one of the easiest ways to navigate this minefield of publicity is to monitor your brand and communicate effectively. While it may be easy to fall into the trap of looking for the bad, instead learn how to find and promote the good. In the long run, finding the good things people say about your brand will be a ticket to spreading your brand through effective word-of-mouth communications.
Another byproduct of the Internet, PR professionals are expected to respond to inquiries, criticisms and just about everything else in real-time (or at least pretty close to it). This isn’t just limited to responding to mentions on social media, it’s also the way that PR professionals should begin using their platforms to share their own news. The most important component to effectively using real-time relations is knowing what platforms your target audience is on and using those as a direct channel to your consumer.