By Alex Gertler, Account Supervisor
Public relations is a dynamic and constantly evolving field. The next five years will bring significant changes, innovations, and opportunities. In this blog, we’ll explore some of the most prominent predictions for the future of public relations.
- Data-driven PR may become prevalent
As the world becomes progressively data-focused, data-driven PR becomes more prevalent and valuable. Innovative new technologies such as AI and data analyzation tools such as Google Analytics and Hootsuite have become increasingly useful in helping PR professionals refine their strategic communication to best reach their target audience. These tools have the incredible ability to give data and insights into web traffic, user behavior, and audience demographics and psychographics. As this trend continues, PR pros must practice and learn to use data and these innovative tools to shape their strategies, measure success, and modify communication tactics.
- The use of AI and automation is increasing
AI and automation are already transforming many industries, and public relations is no exception. According to a report by Technavio, the AR market value is set to grow by $163B from 2020 to 2025. AI-powered tools like chatbots and predictive analytics can help PR professionals work more efficiently and effectively. AI can be used to draft compelling press releases, build targeted media lists, and monitor social media channels for mentions of a brand or product.
The one concern around the use of AI in PR is privacy — chatbots that collect user data could potentially compromise user privacy if the data is not handled properly. PR professionals will need to become more adept with these AI and automation tools to help them optimize time and money, leading to stronger results.
- People are emphasizing Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
Corporate Social Responsibility is becoming increasingly important to consumers. The 2023 Edelman Trust Barometer says that consumer distrust of organizations is increasing each year due to “economic anxiety, disinformation, mass-class divide and a failure of leadership.” PR professionals will need to become more involved in developing and communicating CSR strategies that align with their organizations’ values and priorities.
- Virtual and augmented reality may become a PR experience
As technology advances, we can expect to see virtual and augmented reality playing a more prominent role in public relations. Companies may utilize products such as the Oculus Rift and Meta’s new Quest to create immersive experiences for their audiences, such as virtual tours or product demos that will help the audience feel more connected to the product, service, or solution being offered. As these products and the technology continue to evolve, we can expect to see even more innovative and creative uses of VR and AR. One potential use could be in the realm of crisis communication. Companies could use virtual or augmented reality to simulate a crisis scenario, allowing PR professionals to practice their crisis management skills in a safe, controlled environment. Overall, the use of virtual and augmented reality in public relations is an exciting development that has the potential to transform the industry and create more engaging and meaningful experiences for audiences.
- Crisis management is becoming increasingly important
According to a study by Deloitte Insights, nearly 60 percent of more than 500 crisis management executives believe that organizations face more crises today than they did ten years ago. As we have seen countless times in recent years, crises can happen to any company at any time. Increased integration of technologies and automation will additionally create more intricacies and potential crises — information is traveling within milliseconds, and it only takes 500 tweets to start trending. Companies will need to respond quickly and effectively, and they will need to have plans in place to mitigate reputational damage.
In summary, the future of public relations is full of possibilities and excitement. With the growing importance of data-driven PR, the rise of AI and automation, increased emphasis on CSR, the use of VR and AR, and the importance of crisis management, PR professionals have plenty of opportunities to innovate and make significant impacts. To stay ahead in this ever-changing field we must be agile, adaptable, and willing to learn and embrace new technologies and strategies. By keeping informed on these trends and predictions, we can best prepare ourselves for the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.