Six trends to shape public relations in 2020

2019 is slowly coming to an end, so this is a great moment to look back at past achievements and think about future plans. However, strategic goals can only be set based on sufficient knowledge of the field we operate in, so we at Propiar have prepared a list of key trends that will characterize the field of public relations in the coming year.

  1. Interactive content

Creating interesting content that attracts attention and stimulates action among the target public will continue to be important for achieving communication goals. The trends indicate that mostly various interactive content will be more and more successful and achieve even greater level of consumer engagement.

Therefore, when designing your campaigns, keep in mind the possibilities brought by virtual (VR) and augmented (AR) reality, gaming, apps, quizzes, polls and online events.

  1. Social networks

Social networks have been changing almost daily since their emergence, bringing the changes in their use for strategic marketing communications too. It will be no different in 2020, as we can expect many new developments in this area. We have already written about some of them, such as hiding the number of likes on Instagram, and the question is whether this trend will be followed by Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and others. Such changes are difficult to predict with certainty, so the situation should be closely monitored in the coming year.

One of the major trends that can be expected in this area in 2020 is undoubtedly the further rise of the TikTok social network. It has quickly attracted a large number of users worldwide, and is getting popular in Slovenia too. We can also expect for the financial inputs intended for social network activities to continue to grow in 2020, and the companies will also use chatbosts to a great extent. It is certainly worth remembering that in the future, the users will purchase products directly on social networks.

  1. Influencer marketing

The area of ​​influencer marketing is directly linked to social networks. In 2020, digital influencers will gain popularity among the followers and, consequently, be successful in using strategic communication purposes. However – attention!

Micro and nano influencers will bring more benefit to companies and brands as they will achieve greater engagement of the followers at lower prices, thereby increasing their potential for use in various campaigns. Also, influencers in 2020 will focus on more organic storytelling, as the followers are looking for the content that is much more real, interesting and original, as opposed to a “polished” and inauthentic content.

Instagram will continue to be the most popular social network for influencer marketing, but let’s not forget about YouTube and TikTok mentioned earlier.

  1. Brand activism

In recent years, we can see an increasing number of organizations committed to addressing various social, political and ethical issues, regardless of the potential negative responses this may bring. Studies show that consumers feel stronger connections with brands that are willing to take clear positions on important issues. Given the climate crisis and the current political climate, we can expect consumers to pay even more attention to such campaigns.

Therefore, we need to be very careful when designing strategies as the public today is well informed and any attempts to take positions that doesn’t turn out to be genuine will result in extremely negative responses. To be successful, ethics and awareness must be at the core of the brand, which means communication, and above all following well-defined key messages and objectives set.

  1. Minor crises

Precisely because of the aforementioned attention, awareness and being informed about many issues and topics, the companies will continue to be closely observed. Therefore, we can expect that they will also have to face smaller crises that could negatively affect the reputation and public trust.

This is why it is important for the companies to have well-prepared crisis communication manuals in advance. These should include potential crisis situations identified through environmental analysis, as well as appropriate responses to them. This way, the responsible persons in companies will be constantly prepared for any kind of issues and will be able to solve them before any serious consequences occur.

  1. Podcasts

The podcasts are digital content or shows that can be listened to or even watched online, and can also be downloaded to a computer or other device. Similar to blogs, the podcast content often focuses on a specific topic and comes out periodically. Their popularity abroad is growing rapidly, as well as here in Slovenia. So we can easily find shows that are regularly followed by a large number of loyal listeners. The distinctive thematic orientation makes them great for reaching a niche, especially younger audiences. We can expect that the trend of the podcasts rise will continue into 2020, and the presence in these shows will be a great opportunity for the companies and brands because of the podcasts’ excellent ability to reach a specific target audience.

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Nejc Horvat

Advisor

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