PR Predictions for 2020: The Great “PR” Revival

Over the summer, my family and I spent a long weekend at a cabin in the Colorado mountains. Having two young children, a campfire and S’mores were an essential part of our plans. The kids asked about 100 times when we were going to have S’mores – and on our final night, we made it happen. To my husband’s surprise, a chocolate ad promoting S’mores popped up in his Instagram feed the next day!

PR

This is our modern digital marketing reality. For marketers, a hyper-targeted approach is a win because they are able to amplify lead generation in a way that wasn’t possible a few years ago.

As consumers, it can get a little creepy. It’s rare to visit a website that offers a product or service without the company following you online and presenting ads everywhere – social media, news sites, and sometimes your inbox!  

While advanced technology and data have become fuel for incredibly effective marketing campaigns – it’s getting a bit saturated. 

PR will Rise Again

As 2020 brings the opportunity for new ideas and fresh angles to make marketing more effective, we predict that PR will rise to the forefront of the digital marketing strategy in the midst of the massive volume of ads that are everywhere online. 

Now, let me be clear. PR hasn’t gone anywhere. We’ve been here all along, building awareness and creating industry leaders by delivering consistent and effective messaging to the market. It’s being leveraged as much, if not more than ever. 

However…

As digital advertising becomes increasingly saturated and competitive, we predict that CEOs and marketing leaders will reignite their focus and demand for ‘earned media.’ 

So what does ‘earned media’ have to do with the revival of PR? 

Well, earned media IS PR. Securing third-party news coverage, articles and mentions are what we PR professionals have been doing all along! There’s a reason that the top companies prioritize PR and will want more in 2020. 

For one, a quote or an article lives online much longer than the ad that appears as you mindlessly scroll through social media. Plus, a company automatically gains credibility when a positive story is published by someone who has no ties or financial interest in the organization. This is how you create authenticity within the market while reaching a wide audience.

What About the Decline of Publications?

We are acutely aware that the journalism industry is going through a transformation of its own. As a result, we see far fewer outlets and an increased focus on ‘sponsored’ editorial content.

So, to rise in 2020, PR will need to focus on the bigger picture. Quality of earned media placements will trump quantity. Additionally, narrative-focused PR professionals — the ones who make it known that their client or company has something important to say or offer to the industry — are the ones who will shine. 

We certainly don’t see digital marketing campaigns slowing down by any means in 2020. In fact, we think there will be a new life breathed into PR. Because awareness, authenticity and industry leadership are more important than ever in the ad-heavy digital space. 

How and where you tell your story matters – and PR has a chance to own that and rise.

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