Top PR trends to look out for in 2020

As 2019 draws to a close, it’s time to look ahead at next year’s PR trends. None of these is brand new, but in 2020 they’ll be more relevant than ever. Now is the best time to start looking ahead and planning for upcoming campaigns. Both technology and social attitudes play a big part in the evolution of PR trends. Some of these changes will mean you need to adapt your current methods. However, we guarantee it is worth setting the foundations now. 

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Below, we’ve listed what we feel are the five most important PR trends to look out for next year.

Data-informed campaigns

PR trends computer

In recent years, data has played an increasingly critical part in leading PR campaigns. The data we gather is more immediate and more accurate than ever. With it, we can craft more targeted campaigns for particular audiences to achieve better results. What’s more, better data allows us to evaluate our results in much more detail. With deeper analysis, we can continue to identify what works and what doesn’t. 

Ultimately, we’ll also find that greater automation and even AI can play a role in PR. With enough data to learn from, these new systems will streamline and speed up almost every process. The first step is to make sure you’re collecting as much data as possible and analysing it effectively. Then you can identify the best way to use it going forward.

The rise of niche media

As of 2019, there are hundreds of media outlets vying for traffic and attention.  However, as the biggest players turn to sponsored content and algorithms to generate income, organic traffic is suffering. People are beginning to lose faith in sites such as Facebook, who are also facing increasing criticism in the media. For this reason, the attention will likely move onto niche outlets such as Pinterest and Reddit. 

These sites are still hugely popular, with hundreds of millions of users, but they care for niche interests. They allow companies and brands to connect directly with a very specific audience. As a result, influencer marketing will also change. Rather than relying on influencers with mass appeal, brands will focus on those who are well-respected in their niche.

Placing ethics at the heart of brand stories

These days, a brand’s ethics are at the forefront of consumer priorities, overtaking price and convenience. A business that fails to consider the environment, diversity, and social issues will suffer. Additionally, today’s audiences are well-informed and won’t be fooled by cynical attempts to cash in on this new mentality. If you’re going to present yourself as a conscious company, you have to mean it and prove it. Companies that do this are also going to receive plenty more favourable media attention.

To succeed, ethics and awareness must be at the core of your brand. This means robust business foundations, well-defined key messaging, and direct communication strategies. It’s better to incorporate this now rather than later, as this trend will only increase in years to come.

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The rise of audio

Voice-activated assistants such as Amazon’s Alexa and Google Home becoming smarter and more popular. Experts predict that by next year, 50% of internet searches will be made using voice software. This means e-commerce will also become hugely reliant on physical speaking. In fact, by 2022, the voice commerce market is expected to be valued over $40 billion. What does this mean for businesses who want to make the most of this market evolution? Brands will have to start approaching their content from a new angle. Historically, content has been based on written language. We’ve only had to consider how words are read and used in search terms. Now, we have to consider the precise semantics of words and how they’re spoken.

Podcasts are another channel that can be seen as a niche target market.  They’re perfect for reaching specific audiences are continuing to grow in popularity. Podcasts are particularly important for brands targeting a younger market. Generally, podcasters personally promote their sponsors rather than playing pre-recorded ads. This means an audience is far more likely to trust what they have to say.

The PR trends takeaway

These aren’t the only PR trends to watch out for in 2020 but they’re the best place to start to futureproof your brand. PR will continue to evolve every year and only companies that embrace it will see sustained success. By staying ahead of the game and welcoming change, you’ll be able to make the most of new opportunities. Furthermore, setting foundations now will mean you’re well-prepared to take advantage of future trends.

If you’re curious to learn more about public relations or want to speak to a SYNC consultant about starting your brand’s PR journey, contact us at [email protected]

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