PR & Communications Opinion South Africa

What the future of PR looks like

Public relations has changed considerably in the past few years and is presenting exciting times for business and brands.
Image credit: Ewan Robertson on Unsplash.
Image credit: Ewan Robertson on Unsplash.

This change is primarily driven by technology and the way content is consumed by audiences rushing towards digital platforms for information that interests them.

With the power of mobile devices, the idea of sending out press releases is simply behind the times. Younger audiences are all about instant gratification – wanting what they want when they want it.

Traditional outward-bound PR is outdated and brands should meet audiences where they’re consuming content. This will ensure marketing professionals are one step ahead and futureproofing their brands for today’s digital tech-savvy consumer.

Africa's communications evolution
Africa's communications evolution

  23 Jul 2019

Here are four steps to ensure your brands are ready.

Tell stories

Engaging storytelling is key. In an era of fake news and consumers increasing mistrust of businesses and brands, good storytelling is vital.

Share well-structured, authentic and engaging stories that consumers are interested in and ensure your content reaches the right audience at the right time to have a maximum positive impact.

Add value

There’s no better time for your brand’s PR to incorporate all types of media into your strategies – paid, earned, shared and owned.

This provides the opportunity to address all brand touchpoints and keep track of reach, frequency and conversion, calculating the return of investment and offering meaningful value to your brand.

Manage reputations

A brand crisis can happen in the blink of an eye and through social media, the reputational damage can spread in a matter of minutes.

It’s important for marketing professionals to be ready to address any PR fall-out as soon as possible.

This means a smart and strategic crisis communication plan and upskilling staff with the tools to address any crisis, in all channels immediately.

Influencer marketing

The impact influencers can have on brands should not be underestimated.

It’s important to cultivate win-win relationships with relevant influencers, who can provide access to their target audience.

With the internet of things (IoT) and other game-changing technology, the future of PR is uncertain in terms of how it will continue to be affected by technology and social trends.

That said, the future is exciting and the opportunities for brands to breakthrough with smart digital-savvy PR strategies have never been better.

About Michael Gullan

Michael Gullan is the founder and CEO of G&G Advocacy. Michael provides strategic consulting to G&G Advocacy's clients at a senior level. Michael is passionate about the science of adult learning in the corporate workplace and has made it his mission to provide innovative and effective e-learning solutions designed to nurture an educated and high-performance workforce in South Africa so we can build a stronger, sustainable economy which creates more jobs and opportunities for society.
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