Public Relations and Communications has evolved significantly over the past 5 years. The evolution of digital and social media has allowed ‘word of mouth’ to move at a very rapid pace and, now more than ever, digitally savvy consumers are debunking traditional advertising methods and seeking the opinions of friends, industry experts and celebrities.
These are the top trends we will see impacting the Public Relations and Communications in industry in 2017.
PR professionals are experts in developing content and know that organically earned views help marketers to better analyze their media spend and funnel budget and campaigns through to areas where they are currently gaining views/traction.
SEO and Public Relations will continue to align more closely together so all content published addresses the key messaging, is high quality and optimized for search. SEO has been a function of the digital marketing team but as earned media and thought leadership continue to dominate, we will see this skillset continue to develop in PR professionals.
Thought Leadership Content
Public Relations professionals know that it is valuable for key employees and industry leaders to create high quality content. More and more we are seeing thought leadership pieces that are created by leading PR professionals being driven by data and analytics. The content must engage audience and articles must be optimized for search to grow traffic. This in turn can drive leads into the marketing funnel and build authority in their specific industry or niche.
Measuring the impact of your PR campaigns has continued to evolve with the digital landscape, and today we are able to more accurately measure the engagement, reach and results of PR efforts. Again, this will allow marketers to better analyze where to put their media spend in areas where they are already gaining organic impressions.
Top PR professionals know that social media and digital are an integral part of the communications mix and we will continue to see PR professionals develop and strengthen these. In 2016, we saw PR agencies and departments launch their own digital arms or teams as well as acquire smaller digital advertising firms. We have seen agencies looking for digital talent from outside of the traditional Public Relations industry to grow their offering, as well as hiring digital and social media strategists, digital marketers, and SEO and earned media professionals.
PR/Communications professionals who bring a well-rounded skillset of traditional public relations combined with strong digital strategy and SEO optimization skills will command higher salaries and be the “ones to watch” in 2017.