PR Trends to look out for in 2019 The client demands are tough to meet so a PR professional is required to be a pro at these things

By Reva Malhotra

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PR trends much like fashion or technology are never static and are always changing at a rapid speed. This mirrors the fact that nothing can exist without advancing in a world which is evolving at such a high rate. Consumer demands, moods as well as shopping trends, software, manufacturing and supply management, social tendencies and morality undergo a transformation very frequently and demand that the techniques of reputation building and marketing the same are also updated from time to time.

Some PR trends to look out for this 2019 are:

AI - The foundation of PR is paid or earned communication with the consumers and prospective buyers to turn them into customers. A widespread AI-based application adoption has been predicted. Some banks, as well as websites, have already started using chatbots to resolve customer queries and issues at any hour of the day. This has made the life of the customer very convenient as they can contact their service provider at their leisure and also the organizations do not have to fret to find employees covering night shifts as they can be easily handled by AI.

Up-skilling and Re-skilling - Just as mother nature wants us to reuse and recycle for our survival, PR industry expects their professionals to re-skill and up-skill to keep up with the demands of this ever-changing the industry. PR agents have to provide services beyond traditional public relations and tackle advertising and marketing as well. Owing to the cutthroat competition the lines between PR, marketing and advertising have blurred. The client demands are tough to meet so a PR professional is required to be a pro at communication, content writing, forming strategies, spotting trends, creating creative and informative videos, content marketer and most importantly a social media expert. PR agencies should also develop social and digital crisis communication strategists to help in times of reporting crisis or exposure of scandals. In short, both clients and employers want a person who is a complete package in themselves.

Building Trust - PR agents will have to focus more on winning and maintaining the trust of its customers. Fake news, an abundance of useless information and ads of wonder drugs are circulating all around, the consumer is confused about what to trust. In such testing times, it is always a good idea to filter information for your consumer and share only accurate and relevant information supported by scientific facts or statistics or surveys or expert opinions. It will ease the consumer's burden and will also help him/her in making the right decision. To achieve this the PR professionals will be required to help media in developing truthful as well as meaningful stories to establish their ethical credentials.

Eliminating Verbosity - Jobs allow people little time for themselves. Keeping this in mind, PR professional should weave stories and narratives which appeal to the audience and are informative and short. Crisp anecdotes strike the right chord while long ads bore the audience. Native advertising is the newest trend where products are clandestinely marketed while creating social awareness.

The collaboration of PR and Influencers - It is highly expected that there will be a rise in the number of partnerships between PR professionals and social media influencers as it helps indirectly reaching out to the target audience. It is also a viable and cost-effective solution in an era of tough competition.

Focus on Analytics- PR professionals will also be required to don the hat of Analysts. Data will help them understand their target audience, changing market demands, identifying new consumers, understanding which campaigns have been successful in engaging the audience and which have failed to create an impact. This can only be achieved if PR agents are able to creatively collate and interpret data instead of being entangled in raw statistics.

With so much development and hassle in the ever transfiguring PR industry, we should also aim at changing one more thing -- the gender pay gap. As an industry, we should eliminate disparity and be more inclusive. Let us make it another trend to look out for in the coming year.

Reva Malhotra

PR Professional

A PR Professional who thrives on digital media, making the most opportune PR mix for brands, creating a positive brand image.Reva is a strategic communications consultant to startups and budding entrepreneurs.

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