Before talking about the PR trends in 2017, I would like to focus on “If size matters, the elephant would be the king of the jungle”. So it is not a matter of the communication firm size or long period of establishment.
The Public Relations is a mix of science and art that is rapidly innovating in some strong competitors – or I prefer name them integrated areas – like the artificial intelligence and digital PR.
We here in Innovlutions, with its both arms Think Commz and Think Marketing Lab are working to change the communications field by mixing public relations science and digital marketing art which materialize through offering a full spectrum of unrivalled services to our partners’ portfolio.
I believe that the industry will rely more on digital media – which makes great strides every few years – it’s no surprise that 2017 will bring some changes to the tools and tactics that should be deployed.
But whatever change the industry witnesses, I still believe that people are the most important component of the industry success. So that training employees – even they are talented – is a must.
I believe that any PR professional works in a campaign now should use diversified tools to establish an assumption based on two things; talk to the real world and listen to publics.
The PR industry changes now or witnesses development like using some current tactics like third party tools, thought leadership and editorial calendar that are now commonplace in a variety of communications and public relations functions to fulfill the needed objectives.
In 2017, I also believe that the press release will lose its attractiveness and will be replaced by storytelling – a current tool that we are using a few years ago – and will be posted on the corporate website, and curved up into a different formats for stakeholders emails and may be social media platforms, especially tweets.
I think we have to rethink about using the traditional press release as a primary means of communication.
Another important trend that we have to consider as a strong tool for sending our messages to stakeholder is the recorded and the live video and other visual tools – such as images and slide shows because the average person watches 32 videos per month, and there’s a 74% increase in understanding when someone watches a video. So that in addition to Youtube, Facebook and Periscope invested a lot in live video tool.
If we talked about the media relations, a core tool of public relations practices, has shifted from strongly pitching traditional media to working as well with influencers in all fields including opinion leaders, experts, ambassadors, celebrities, healthcare professional and/or funny young people.
I believe it’s important that public relations should have an effective role in forming the social awareness towards positive initiatives and national campaigns like we do in Think Commz for example the campaign of Kamel Karamak that aims to spread awareness of not wasting food and recycling it instead of getting rid of it. This campaign is launched by Unilever in the cooperation of the Egyptian Ministry of Supply and Food Bank.
Also the public relations should be a part of spreading awareness in all fields even in the media sectors as for example to be a member in associations and have initiatives to change the people’s mind into seeing the right thing and being away of negative or bad attitude and actions. For example what “Positive Media Movement” (Haraket El E’lam el Igaby), that I am a member in. Positive Media Movement was established to spread the importance of following the principles and professionalism when covering, talking or airing any topic.
I can confirm easily that data use will be one of the PR trends for 2017 to drive the PR campaigns including getting to know your audience, figuring out which type of content is most popular and determining the best time to post based on when your audience is online.
Finally I see that we have another factor that must be applied in the PR industry which is the key performance indicators (KPIs) as our reply before was that we can’t assess the results of PR plans and strategies except through advertising value equivalence (AVE).