PR Trends for 2018

  • Content Marketing:

While content marketing has been the norm for a lot of companies and agencies, 2018 will see Context marketing really come to the forefront. Context marketing simply means delivering the right message (content) to the right person (target audience) at the right time. In fact, Facebook has now changed its algorithm to reward brands that convey personality in their communication.


  • Data on audience:

Getting to know more about your audience through their online behavior – likes, shares, habits and hobbies, and delivering PR campaigns that are devised on the back of informed decisions and ensuring that the message and the narrative is increasingly relevant to the audience will reap a lot more benefits. Knowing when your audience is online, when a product should be released, when not to promote a service or product are all information driven by data that PR professionals can use to their advantage to devise and execute effective PR campaigns.


  • Video over copy:

Millennials are the focus of most marketing and sales strategies today from fashion and retail brands to telecom operators, digital technology players to banks. In this digital age, the world in general and millennials in particular have a much reduced attention span as compared to previous generations. Long copy, however interesting and thought-provoking, will not find too many that reach the finish line. On the other hand, video has proven to be a savior for marketers as they are more impactful, quick and communicate a lot in a short span of time across multiple platforms. Video marketing helps brands gain instant leverage in all spheres while getting the message across in a clear, concise manner. With over 74% increase in understanding when watching a video over reading content, video’s will play a huge role in most PR campaigns in the coming year.


  • Qualitative measurement:

While page views, number of subscribers and leads generated work well for clients and agencies, the role of a PR practitioner in the coming year would be to help client’s see value in the qualitative outcomes of campaigns and work done. While it is important to see how many people the public relations efforts reach out to; a lot of focus needs to be put on how this impacts the audience positively and in turn has good return on investment for the client. Agencies will need to map out deliverables to ascertain areas towards achieving qualitative output over mere numbers at the end of the month in a clippings report.


  • Normalisation of Influencer marketing:

With the explosion of a host of ‘Influencers’ in the region where focus is on the influence the number of followers would add to the brand over the Idea of influence they would contribute to an organization is still blurry. However with the introduction of VAT on ads and single business owners, influencer marketing is set to go under normalization in the coming year. The difference between advertisements and earned media, as is common knowledge, is credibility and that’s exactly what paid placements with influencers are. PR practitioners need to have honest, transparent communications with clients and influencers to explore and outline the best possible ways of maximizing returns on collaborations.


Author: Sharon Pereira – PR Account Director, Matrix Public Relations