Conections becoming more personal than ever: PR trends for 2022
Finding Christmas decorations on the shelves as early as in October may annoy some people. But when you work in PR & Communication you can appreciate the beauty of anticipation. We have already been preparing the end-of-the-year campaigns since August! So, not surprisingly, pr trends for 2022 have been part of our conversations for a few months too. Let me share some thoughts on that.
2021 had some particularities marked especially by the Covid-19 pandemic we still have to live through. From the enthusiasm and effusiveness for the online–everything, where Spain was lagging a bit behind, to certain weariness of interacting through screens in the last months. Anticipating these kind of changes and how they may impact the world of communication and public relations makes all the difference.
What is coming in 2022, and what trends will we need to take into account in our communication plans? Hypersegmentation, long-term relationships and support for diversity are just some of the key themes we’d bet on. Ideally, with a spark of resilience. See why, below.
Hypersegmented and personalized content
Getting the journalists’ attention is becoming more and more difficult every day. The volume of information they are receiving on a daily basis is unmanageable and highlighting our content or proposal above the rest is a real challenge. Work from home does not help either, as phone contact has been reduced to minimum. Therefore, message personalisation and hypersegmentation are tools we must implement in order to not lose momentum.
In Spain, press releases are not dead yet. In our work with international partners, we see press releases have a very secondary role in their strategies, as they are no longer considered effective. Still, they work well in our local market as a conversation starter, an excuse to offer something more palatable and adapted to each situation. And that brings us to another key topic, exclusives.
For the sake of clarity, let me say what we mean by offering an exclusive: providing relevant information to a single media outlet and journalist, so that they are the first to have important data and/or have privileged access to interview people involved in the subject in order to bring it to light before any competitor media. Exclusives are highly appreciated by the press and strengthen the relationship between media and brands. In addition, they are ideal for in-depth articles, more elaborated than the typical briefs or copies of a press release, and encourage quality journalism.
Clear as it may seem – although not easily done! – PR professionals need to deal with an added difficulty: here: the ambiguity of some clients who want to join the trend of offering exclusives… adding “secondary exclusives” or “subsequent exclusives”. An exclusive, as a matter of professional ethics, should be offered to one media outlet only. The advantages of this approach are multiple and tend to produce valuable qualitative results, and interest traction r. Playing exclusives right builds media trust. Let’s be frank about things..
More personal relationships than ever before
Getting journalists to accept an exclusive, or any other deal offered from a communication agency is not easy. We need to gain their trust first. And this takes time. That’s why the greatest asset of public relations agencies are the relationships we as professionals have with the media. They are based on the credibility of our words and actions, the reliability of the information we offer, the honesty we share. And this is something that goes beyond our clients, because journalists remain, while clients mostly come and go.
In this WFH era, it is more complicated than ever to reach a specific person in the newsroom by phone. Personal relationships and trust make all the difference in achieving positive results for the companies we work with. Feeding meaningful relationships, both existing and new, is a must revisited.
Equality, diversity and inclusiveness
It is strange, to say the least, that a large number of companies are undertaking plans to improve diversity and inclusiveness in their organizations, while we see so many gaps in their communication. Consistency is the key for these initiatives to add to the company credibility. Something missing when, e.g. an announcement of equality measures coexists with press releases or posts not using inclusive language or, worst, including terms that may be considered discriminatory to women, LGBTIQ+ people or others.
Purpose and Comprehensive Communication
Public Relations strategies are not isolated, but impacted by any other communication aspect developed by companies. From digital marketing or social networks, which have become part of our regular strategies, to aspects more distant from our work, such as product packaging, messages alignment and coordination are key. Once again we bring up the term coherence to refer to the imperative need to unify criteria, align all actions with the company’s purpose and, in short, work with honesty to be credible
Year 2021, which we will soon leave behind, has been quite atypical, again. However, from a global perspective, the key aspects underlying any communication plan have hardly changed. Moreover, LF Channel’s 25th Anniversary this year has made us think on how we have changed. And we feel the essentials are the same, while the form, tools and techniques have been mutating according to the needs of the times.
We are ready for whatever PR trends 2022 has in store for us! Remember I mentioned resilience? The foundations are solid and the adaptability of all the people who make up our team is more than proven. Our values reflect this and are perfectly aligned with the trends we foresee: consistency, commitment and collaboration.