03 Jan Public Relations in 2016 – A Love Story
While we find that PR, Social & Content are joined at the hip, 2016 will see this trio turn into a full-fledged love story. You really cannot have one without the other anymore, and it becomes difficult to separate talking about them. But, in the spirit of giving equal love to our children, here is a breakdown of what we think will be happening in the PR world for 2016.
- The love affair between PR and marketing grows ever stronger. If you’re keeping an eye on the biggest and best consumer communications programs out there, you’ll find that they likely have one thing in common – they take and combine the best of PR, advertising, marketing and digital media. And, we’re continuing to see many of our clients also move toward this idea of larger communications programs that integrate a variety of different disciplines to amplify key messages and campaigns. Success in this approach requires a platform/theme/campaign that is compelling and broad enough to work across different specialties; a project owner who can provide strong direction; and a true willingness for all of the different agencies and internal audiences involved to work together collaboratively to achieve agreed-upon goals.
- Integrated marketing may be king, but content marketing should be co-king. A recent PR Council report shows that content marketing is either a number one or two priority for 40 percent of senior marketers surveyed (second to integrated marketing). PR plans should be poised to lead the content marketing efforts of companies and brands. By analyzing what messages are compelling and persuasive at each point in the purchasing path, PR can provide the results-oriented solutions companies and brands demand to meet business objectives.
- Brands can help consumers in their juggle for sanity. Mintel recently released its 2016 consumer trends report. One trend is “balance or bust” or what may be more akin to “juggle for sanity.” The trend is a nod to consumers being able to “have it all” all the time thanks to technology’s ability to deliver products, services and experiences at the time of each consumer’s moment of need or desire. Yet these same consumers want “balance” away from the “always on” lifestyle that technology enables. We’d argue that consumers are trying to juggle more than balance. Consumers are struggling with the “I should” problem – I should not check Facebook at the dinner table. I should not watch 13 hours of Frank and Claire Underwood in “House of Cards” in one sitting. For that reason, brands that help people with the juggle and help to solve the “I should” problem have the opportunity to win hearts and wallets in 2016. Dixie’s recent #DarkForDinner campaign nailed this insight by encouraging family and friends to dine sans mobile phones.
- Show me the visuals. According to a recent study by the CMO Council, the majority of senior-level marketers want more of their annual budgets allocated toward creating visual content, like videos and infographics. Sixty-five percent of the 177 senior marketers that responded to the survey said they believe visual assets are core to telling their brand’s story – and are especially important for business-to-business marketers. Expect to see more companies abandoning lengthy press releases, highly-technical sustainability reports and mundane case studies and instead developing visually impactful infographics and informative videos that better tell stories to target audiences.
As more of these trends emerge throughout 2016, we’ll be sure to keep you updated!