[By Tayjua Squire]

For the sake of progress, change is inevitable. For the sake of innovation and growth, change is essential. The world of communications and public relations is constantly evolving. Keeping up with these changes and, more importantly, keeping ahead of the competition are crucial in the PR industry. Here are the top 5 PR trends to help communications professionals stay ahead of the game in 2017, according to John Hall, CEO of Influence & Co.:

  1. New year, new relationships.
    Relationships with the media will become less important. It’s time for new, fun, fresh and direct relationships with the public and consumers. Social media outlets such as Twitter and Facebook have opened up an opportunity for organizations to create and foster relationships with the public without going through a media filter.
  2. Goodbye to the traditional press release.
    The standard press release will be considered a waste of resources to get journalists and media outlets to cover your story. In 2017, PR professionals must implement a more creative means to capture the media’s attention. How will you get your message out there in 2017? Use social media, develop relationships with industry leaders and influencers, and remember to always incorporate visuals. Be fun, be creative!
  3. Online reputation management is a must.
    Content, content, content. A consumer’s first impression of an organization is almost always their website or Facebook page. It is crucial to have key messages and valuable information online. Oh and of course, visuals!
  4. What’s 9 to 5? PR works around the clock.
    A digital 2017 means a real-time 2017. Situations don’t only occur during regular business hours; more often than not, they escalate after-hours. With the 24-hour news cycle and real-time social media, PR professionals must always be prepared for a crisis and develop proactive communications plans.
  5. 5. Data-driven results.
    The practice of public relations must now be driven by data and clearly demonstrate the bottom-line impact. The value of the financial investment on PR strategies should clearly be explained in the context of a return on investment.

TIP: Be prepared for PR’s future and be prepared with your communications tactics. Always be two steps ahead. Good luck in 2017!

(Photo by Tayjua Squire)