Every industry has transformed in one way or another in 2020, and we took a look into how PR has evolved.
With everything turning digital when the pandemic hit, the PR world was no exception. In fact, everything in PR turned digital – particularly events. Now, instead of meeting a journo for coffee, they can jump on a Zoom call instead. The Zoom revolution isn’t the only change that has happened, though. Here are three major ways in which the PR industry has evolved over the past year:
CSR initiatives are back – big time.
The effects of the pandemic seem to have increased empathy in a lot of people. Consumers don’t want to see staged ads; they want to see brands doing good. Through well-executed Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives, people can see that brands care about their consumers, and start to feel like they can trust the brands they’re buying. This impacts the PR sector as they have to now work extra hard at creating and making an impact with their brands without getting too commercialised.
Online & print coverage is harder than ever to obtain.
Now, PR has always been about personal relationships with journalists. But as the economy was impacted greatly, everyone needed to focus on maximising their profits – including media. With the start of the pandemic and everything turning digital, the demand for Online and Print coverage went up as everyone was staying home and not going to events or receiving any gifting products. Due to this surge of demand, the industry took a turn to push PR departments to pay in return for coverage, which could be seen as needing quantity over quality.
Budgets are changing to things with most visible ROI; but PR is not one of them.
During these unpredicted times, budgets are changing in order to cut losses and maximise profits to keep companies afloat. As everyone knows, ROI can be difficult to see with PR, at least not instantly; therefore, a lot of companies are slashing through their PR budgets. PR influences people’s thoughts about a brand, and it is a powerful tool to help create and maintain a good reputation, but it is far from immediate. This unfortunately has negatively affected PR and now the industry as a whole has to get their creative caps on more than ever and find new ways to achieve ROIs to be deemed valuable during this unsettling time.
The world of PR is everchanging and it’s now as dynamic as ever. So, PR professionals need to know how to ride the wave instead of let it drown them, as the industry is all about the next new thing. They need to figure out their ROIs and get creative, and that will let them prosper and grow instead of get hugely impacted during the pandemic.