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Trends That Will Change PR Profession In The Next Decade – 2020 And Beyond

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The year 2020 has been greeted with many predictions from many sectors of the economy. Interestingly, public relations professionals have also said that players should expect new trends that will turn round the industry in the next decade.

Below are some of the trends predicted by PRhub, a social media group for public relations professionals in Nigeria.

 The Rise Of ‘Minute’ Influencers

The last decade witnessed the rise of many influencers but the next decade will be populated by what we would like to call ‘minute’ or ‘last mile’ influencers.

Communications will tend to be more targeted. So, the need to get more influencers with local appeal will rise. A new set of influencers will be created because of this trend.

PR Will Harness AI For Improved Productivity And Growth

Technology is expected to become more pervasive. The use of technology to achieve PR objectives will rise. Artificial intelligence (AI) is projected to lead this charge. AI will empower PR. It will take over mundane and repetitive tasks like scheduling, social posting, meeting note-taking, content creation, SEO strategy, and analytics so that PR professionals can focus on functions that require cognitive capabilities which are beyond AI’s capabilities.

The Rise Of Video New Release

With the commanding influence of videos in marketing communication, sophisticated brands will begin to adopt video news release (VNR) to reach more audience. The VNR will help fill the increasing demand for information and stories precipitated by the 24-hour news cycle and social media trends. The VNR will emerge as an important PR tool for helping organisations to gain media coverage.

The Quest For International Agencies Affiliations Will Increase

Conversations around foreign affiliations/partnerships/ownerships will grow this decade as the business environment becomes more competitive for PR Agencies. There will be mergers of agencies or inter-agency cooperation between local and foreign agencies as more foreign organisations enter the Nigerian market. Foreign firms and other multinationals entering the market will come in with their PR firms who would need to seek local agency partnerships to operate here.

There will be more PR consultancy startups in this decade and a lot of collaborations among professionals to deliver or render PR services. Co-creation hubs for office workspace will begin to thrive. To remain competitive, PR firms will extend the scope of their operations, improve capacity and capability, and explore new businesses opportunities and options.

The Influence Of Industry Regulators (NIPR, PRCAN)

The influence of industry regulators, such as NIPR and PRCAN would either rise or decline depending on how they manage the industry in the coming days. If they can bring the industry players together and foster a sense of belonging, their influence will rise. They will then earn appreciable respect from critical stakeholders in recognition of their efforts. States and Federal governments appointing core PR practitioners for the role of media advisers, information ministers/commissioners will become the norm.

However, their influence could also wane. This could be the direct result of their inability to control the continuous disruptions in the digital space. They would need to work together and in consonance with the national assembly to the legislature. The idea should not be to gag but rather encourage, promote and facilitate using best practice.

 Consumer Behaviour And Dynamics Will Lead Brands Conversation

The consumers will continue to steer conversations and brands must strategically align to build a strong brand reputation. Consumer behaviour and dynamics will lead brands conversation. This will be the premise for the sort of storytelling that will be deployed. Consumer-generated content will become increasingly relevant. Human interest angle content will take the lead.

 Conversations Around Binary Sensitive Issues Will Become More Pronounced

Brand custodians will have to begin to take into consideration when creating and deploying communications, binary sensitive issues. People will become more vocal in advocating their causes and uninhibited in debating their viewpoints. PR professionals need to stay ahead of the curve.

 Intellectual Property Protection

Many more people will delve into PR writing via writing brand contents. There will, therefore, be massive creation of content across a growing number of platforms. The need to protect content will become even more endemic and the calls for appropriate penalties for intellectual property theft will become louder.

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