Like any profession, public relations has evolved and adapted over the years. The advent of the internet, the rising importance of social media, and previously unthought-of PR issues have caused the way public relations professionals work to change. With more changes to come, these six factors could have a lasting effect.
Simply put, public relations is the management and maintenance of a company’s public image. Fantastic PR will retain a positive image of a business or organization during crises and mistakes, playing on successes and positive actions.
1. Increased internal communications
One way that PR could change is an increase in internal communications. Gone are the days when two separate departments of a business did not converse, or information spread slowly throughout a corporation. Today, internal communications are vital to PR by maintaining a positive workforce and getting employees on board so that messaging is more effectively conveyed externally; this could well be on the rise.
With more remote working and video conferencing taking place, keeping staff informed and in the loop will have to increase too.
2. Online Help Desks
Superb customer service breeds positive PR. With an online help desk both internal and external clients can get answers to their problems quickly.
Whether it is decreasing the time between a customer’s complaint and a solution or reducing the number of IT queries that go unresolved, help desk software is an advancement that will be vital to future public relations.
3. More and more content
When a company creates its own content, it is taking a number of positive actions. Not only is it boosting its search engine optimization, but it is also entertaining its customers, showing itself to be proactive, creating its own free marketing material and improving its public relations. Producing in-house content is easier than ever, and businesses are sure to jump on the trend.
Blogging is skyrocketing – in the United States the number of bloggers is just under 32 million – and businesses are likely to harness this free content creating, advertising and PR-boosting platform more heavily in the future.
While influencers used to be well-known, famous or successful figures, the rise of the “everyday” influencer has been a startling one. Social media – in particular Instagram – has given normal people the opportunity to become influencers and promote products for money. A huge change in the future of PR is that these vloggers and influencers will hold more power in terms of a company’s public image.
5. Dwindling newspaper sales
In 2018, US newspaper circulation was at its lowest level since 1940. A traditional method of PR would be to get good stories in the press, make and maintain solid relationships with local journalists and promote a business’ image to its local population. With dwindling newspaper sales, the future is certain to hold less of these traditional PR techniques.
6. 24-hour service
Finally, businesses are likely to change their PR operations to include the use of notifications for mobile users – if the company owns an app – or live chat services on desktop. This manner of 24-hour service helps maintain a positive public image by answering customer questions quickly.