Communications trends that emerged in 2023 promise to gain further momentum as 2024 continues. Here are a few predictions that PR pros should take note of as we enter February.
Improved measurements prove PR’s business impact.
In 2023, powerful campaigns strengthened PR’s ability to improve brand reputation and influence, while also strengthening customer adoption and loyalty. Last year also saw advances in measurement technologies that allow PR pros to tangibly prove their business impact.
In doing so, the profession has earned itself a seat at the table of overall business metrics that have historically been ruled by lower-funnel marketing tactics, such as lead generation.
In fact, measurement vendors such as Onclusive can now follow consumers’ online footprints to show how an earned-media placement leads to sales — the platform’s technology showcases PR’s business impact through metrics such as potential customers, amplification and website traffic.
Evolving measurement capabilities like these pave a path for PR to no longer be seen as solely an awareness-focused tactic, but rather as an essential business function.
Proving PR’s value in a business’s bottom line has never been more critical, considering company budgets remain tight in 2024. Communications teams should focus on having the right tools to demonstrate the results they achieve, even during tough financial times.
CSR stresses quality over quantity.
Brands have attempted to adapt their corporate social responsibility (CSR) efforts to suit their audiences’ varying opinions on controversial issues.
However, this has gotten them into trouble as a result of advocating for too many causes or initiatives that aren’t strategic to their interests. To change this, 2024 will bring a new focus on more meaningful CSR efforts that align with a brand’s purpose and value.
As the public continues to hold brands accountable for their commitment to the issues they outwardly support, PR professionals should strategically advise clients to only back causes that feel authentic to their brands. In doing so, backlash from supporting issues that are “off-brand” can be mitigated.
Short-form video reigns.
A Wyzowl 2023 study found that 91% of consumers want to see more online videos from brands, which demonstrates the ever-growing popularity of video content among consumers today. As video continues to be an essential promotion tactic, PR pros should integrate video campaign components wherever possible. To accommodate consumers’ shrinking attention spans, short videos, such as the approximately 30-second-long content popular on TikTok, will be king in 2024.
Nicole Gainer is an associate vice president at Red Thread PR, a Brownstein Group PR specialty agency that brings an integrated, multichannel mindset to connecting B2B and B2C brands to their customers, communities and industries.[Photo credit: brian jackson]