At a first glance, you may think that public relations and PR trends have nothing to do with the role of content marketing in growing your business. For small businesses in particular, it’s already a challenge to stay on top of your content marketing strategy, without worrying about creating a whole PR department too. Luckily, you don’t necessarily need to do that to reach your business growth goals! By simply staying on top of PR trends and following some basic best practices, you can leverage the power of PR to your advantage.
What is PR?
Public Relations (PR) looks after your business’s reputation. According to the Chartered Institute of Public Relations, PR is “the planned and sustained effort to establish and maintain goodwill and mutual understanding between an organisation and its publics.”
PR takes charge of the communication between your business and the public, as well as the target market which your brand interacts with. You’ve probably heard of press releases – well, it’s up to the PR department to take care of these and maintain a positive and professional image of the business.
Since PR protects and builds the image of your company, it is similar to content marketing which also aims to present your business as a leading expert in its field. Your content marketing plan is often the face of your company online, because it “speaks” your firm’s personality through information, videos, articles, and other content.
PR and Content Marketing
In fact, marketing and PR departments often overlap in and communicate through their activities. As PR needs to stay up to date on industry trends, they can help the marketing team to brainstorm and come up with interesting and creative content and material to promote the business’s services. In return, the marketing team can also provide insights on consumer trends to help the PR team in their role.
Top PR Trends 2019
So, how can PR tips and tricks help you to grow your business? Let’s take a look at the main PR trends this year.
1. Brand Message Consistency
The best way to gain prominence and to build reputation around your business is through brand awareness. Online branding is extremely important – without it, your business is just a commodity. Brand search volume refers to the monthly regional search volume for a particular brand. The higher your brand search volume, the more likely it is that consumers are searching for your brand in particular, rather than just the products it sells.
Creating brand awareness and loyalty is achieved through strategic and appropriate brand messaging. In order for this messaging to be consistent across all your marketing platforms and channels, consider putting together a “tone of voice” guideline and distributing it among employees, so that the character of the company shines through all written collateral. Following a content strategy also contributes to successful, long term, sustainable brand messaging.
2. Strong Influencer and Journalist Relations
You never know when you might need a good journalist or an industry influencer to either provide you with valuable, niche, expert content, or to promote your brand and services to the perfect target market. The role of PR manages these relations, but that doesn’t mean you need a PR department to achieve the same results.
It may take some extra organisation and internal coordination, but it’s definitely worth thinking about how an influencer campaign could increase your sales demographic, or whether a journalist is best placed to provide your blog with coverage of the latest news in the industry.
3. PR Technology
Digital transformation is happening in just about every single industry. From education, to law and marketing, there are new tools appearing everywhere, to help speed up processes and increase efficiency. PR is no different, and technologies and software are helping businesses to automate and streamline many PR-related activities.
Need to curate a media contact list? Want to predict potential PR crises before they happen? It’s time to start integrating tools and tech! Some of the most popular digital apps for PR include Boomerang and Bananatag.
4. Micro-video Content
This is where your content marketing and PR teams (if you have separate ones) can really work together well. Micro-video content is both effective and communicative, so make sure you’re able to illustrate your brand messaging quickly and succinctly to audiences through video. Attention span is dwindling, so you need to be able to capture the audience straight away.
Micro-video content is a great way to do this. Though it might not seem like a typical PR trend, the video content itself will definitely benefit from media and communications insight.
5. Thought Leadership Content
When it comes to maintaining your brand reputation (which is what PR is all about, after all!) then you absolutely need to make sure you are developing your online content around thought leadership pieces. We cover this topic in further detail in previous posts – check out our articles on Why your business needs thought leadership and Three examples of great thought leadership content.
So – are you ready to combine your PR and marketing efforts to drive business goals this year, by leveraging the latest trends?
We certainly hope so!