VIRGO PR

2022 Public Relations Shifts and Trends

There have been plenty of changes over the last few years all over the globe. Plenty of people have started to participate in social movements and precisely define right from wrong, and this has largely stemmed from the vast amount of information that’s become available to everyone.

These changes also translate to the business world and how companies do public relations, as people have started to expect for brands to stand up for what’s right and support their statements with actions.

Many companies have started working toward supporting social movements too and helping people to protect values by trying to eliminate some of the root causes for various issues.

In fact, many companies have started working toward making a difference in the last few years, which is incredibly important in terms of public relations.

However, aside from this trend, there are plenty of other PR elements that companies need to stay on top of, and the way that many are using digital media has started shaping the latest trends and the world itself, which means it’s more important than ever for businesses to keep track of the latest developments to achieve more success.

Content

One of the most important advancements in terms of technology that have emerged since the global pandemic started has been authenticity in the content that companies create and distribute. In fact, the most meaningful and essential tech advancement that has become popular is the ability to have video calls between people.

A number of tools have emerged in that sphere such as a Zoom or Microsoft Teams, which have helped people all over the world perform their daily work tasks as usual, as well as communicate with their loved ones, and even establish a brand new, more casual aesthetic and the digital space.

For example, plenty of corporate business owners and CEOs have decided to change their profile images on social media from portraying themselves in suits inside of office spaces to photos of themselves at home, and in more casual wardrobes so they can better depict the realities of everyday life throughout the pandemic.

In fact, even the highly produced commercials on TV have started to change so they can look like they were recorded in real-time, and some companies have even started using raw footage to portray more authenticity in their content.

Authenticity in content has become a lot more material as of late, which means companies have to start investing in portraying themselves as authentically as possible to their target audiences if they want to achieve more success with their PR efforts. Additionally, the way that most people have started consuming content has also shifted from the start of the pandemic.

In fact, plenty of people have started consuming content in a new way since they started spending a lot of time at home and not commuting to and from their workplaces.

That means companies have to create and distribute content in different ways so they can reach their target audiences and expand them. In the last two months, both short-form and long-form video content have exploded in popularity and allowed for brands to share their stories to grab the attention of their target audiences.

These content consumption patterns are going to continue changing into the future as well, which means companies need to stay on top of this trend if they want to create content that converts.

Diversity and Inclusion

Companies have to start investing in making the workspace reflect the same variety of people that everyone sees on a daily basis. Since the pandemic started, the issues that people of color, women, as well as LGBTQ+ people, have started gaining a lot more attention compared to the past.

That means, companies have to start focusing on making progress in the right way through their promotional efforts, as well as through their actions.

The businesses that want to be real and relevant to their audiences need to create actionable plans that they’ll follow through and progress with creating more diversity internally first. On the other hand, any business that’s going to continue ignoring this issue is going to end up facing problems and damage to its reputation sooner rather than later. In fact, companies that ignore diversity and inclusion only end up risking staying behind their business competitors if they don’t want to invest in making a clear policy and message about inclusion and diversity.

Additionally, these types of companies are also risking generating a lot of negative press and damage to their reputation, as well as getting customers to turn away from those brands. These kinds of appeals for more progress and diversity and inclusion haven’t simply been a reaction to the tensions that have been highlighted in society in the last couple of years, as they’ve also been supported by facts.

According to research, the companies that have more diversity internally tend to generate nearly 20% more income, compared to companies with less diversity. When it comes to creating a more diverse staff, there’s no time for businesses to keep making excuses and avoiding this problem.

Internal Communication

While plenty of the same issues that were commonplace in the last couple of years as a result of the pandemic are still around today, most companies have the benefit of knowing a lot more about today’s world, compared to what they knew when the pandemic was just starting.

As long as there’s any type of uncertainty in the world, many companies are going to continue to look for help in terms of creating a more pleasant atmosphere with their remote employees, communicating with employees about the current situation of the business, as well as providing timely communication to the stakeholders.

All of that is to say that internal communication and messaging are more important than they ever have been, and companies that are able to improve them can also improve the productivity of their employees across the board.

Through internal communication, companies can boost employee morale, especially considering the fact that both employees and the public tend to expect to hear honest and clear communication from business leaders on a regular basis. Staff members understand how valuable internal communication can be, which is why many have started advocating for improvements in that regard.

Personalized Meetings

The video conferencing tools and platforms that are available to everyone today are still not too sophisticated. Most of the time, they tend to show people’s faces stacked on top of each other in small boxes on screens, which is a step backward compared to the in-person meetings that most companies used to have before the pandemic started.

As companies have started adopting these video conferencing platforms, a lot more of them will start to personalize their meetings which will allow for the hosts of those meetings to start reading the room better.

Plenty of the human characteristics of in-person meetings, such as social or hierarchical dynamics, gestures, voice, and tone need to start getting replicated a lot better in these types of humanized digital interactions. In an effort to combat “Zoom fatigue”, companies should start utilizing other tools and technologies that are available to improve their video conferencing platforms so they all start including the dynamics of everyday conversation a lot better.

Although there’s still a lot of confusion and noise around augmented reality and virtual reality, companies should start expecting to see a lot more of the AR tools to be used to improve the overall communication tools that they are already using.

With the help of these types of tools, companies will be able to closely watch the human elements of their meetings either through video screens that have smart overlays or by simply attending those digital meetings in a virtual space through specific devices, which will allow for all of a lot more meaningful engagement internally.

Public relations and Marketing

Although both public relations and marketing have very distinct roles that they need to play, plenty of companies have started to propose that both of these departments should start collaborating from the beginning of promotional campaigns.

Additionally, research has shown that both of those departments can share the knowledge and skills they have a lot more effectively which contributes to the success of promotional campaigns in general.

Companies can have an easier time reaching their business goals, as well as the goals of the respective departments, if those departments are able to support the same vision and goals from the start of a campaign, instead of having to revisit and update the same campaign constantly.

On one hand, marketing professionals can start learning more about public relations strategies and metrics, and on the other hand, public relations professionals can start learning more about marketing strategies and what works in that industry.

This way, both of these teams will be able to utilize their knowledge when creating campaigns, as well as create more unified campaigns that are going to be a lot more effective at reaching the target audience and getting more leads to start converting, which at the end of the day, improves the company’s bottom line.