Three trends changing the world of PR
With a relentless few years of a jam-packed news agenda, often delivering more bad news than good, the PR industry is constantly having to learn how to evolve and adapt to gain media cut-through. Keeping up with these changes can be overwhelming, but don’t worry, our PR expert Lisa Gibson has done the hard work for you by researching three PR trends that are changing the news landscape at the moment. Let’s take a look at each of these changes and what they mean for the future of PR.
Trend number one: Find your niche
The news recently has been, pretty much, entirely horrible. We’ve been faced with a generation’s worth of news in just a couple of years.
If you think about Brexit, Trump, Covid, racial injustices, the war on Ukraine, apocalyptic climate change, the cost of living crisis, the earthquake in Turkey – a high volume of life-altering events are constantly happening. From a reader’s perspective, what this means is burnout. They’re sad, they’re depressed and they ultimately don’t want to watch or read the news.
Secondly, there are a lot more journalists working on the big stories, which potentially leaves us with fewer people to whom we can pitch other stories. Opinion is more polarised in the media than ever before, leaving us facing far more competition for landing stories in the press.
We’ve got to get better at pitching relevant stories to relevant people, and it also means that tone is vital. You’ve got to hit the right tone, otherwise the consequences could be staggering.
Trend number two: News outlets need more than just news to make money
We read a really interesting study from Reuters and the University of Oxford, which found that 79% of media leaders believe subscriptions and payrolls will be their main source of revenue over the next year. That’s now more than paid advertising!
So, what does that mean for the average reader? Well, with regards to the news sources available for free (or at least at a minimal price) we are likely to see a far more limited selection. This scarcity could result in readers finding less reputable sources for their news, with fake news stories acting as clickbait or fuelling conspiracy theorists in the public domain.
With a smaller range of news outlets too, there could be a lean towards bias – opting for cheaper news sources might mean there is a lean in opinion one way or the other. When we narrow the options available, we decrease the chances of readers thinking from a global perspective.
From a PRs point of view, we also have to consider how we are reaching audiences. If subscriptions are taking over, are we reaching the same people with the same content time and time again? Are we achieving the same level of cut-through and how do we reach the people outside of the subscription news service outlets?
This is an important debate both morally and from a publicity perspective. Shouldn’t everyone have the right to access the news?
Trend number three: The power of the micro-influencer
A survey in the Drum recently stated that micro-influencers were expected to make up 91% of the market share in 2022.
This is something that kicked off during the pandemic while we were all busy Googling how to make banana bread, yet micro-influencers have continued to make a significant impact since. There has been a real rise in specialist influencers, meaning that every time PRs are pitching a story, we should be considering influencers, as well as journalists.
Targeted lists are a must! We need to be engaging with influencers on behalf of our clients to achieve a significant impact in contemporary media.
So there you go, three things that we think are changing the way we do things in the PR industry at the moment. If you’re looking for support with your PR and communications, watch our video below and get in touch with our expert team today. What are you waiting for?