By Andrea Holland
2023 is shaping up to be a big year for the PR industry. That said, isn’t it always a big year? At the pace the PR/Comms world moves, it’s sometimes hard to keep up with the latest and greatest tools and processes that are proving to be effective. Staying ahead of the curve is hard – but essential, for those wanting to assert their authority in the field, but also provide their clients best in class service with results that will truly impact their business goals.
From technology advancements to new media strategies, PR teams are continually finding creative ways to reach their target audiences. Here are some insights and trends I’ve been observing, that I think will make a splash in 2023 and help drive business growth, whether you’re a startup or established business:
Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning
AI/ML are also gaining traction within the public relations industry due their ability to process large amounts of data quickly, while still delivering actionable insights. Unless you’ve been avoiding the internet, I’m sure you’re familiar with chatGPT and the multiple PR use cases. ChatGPT can be a great starting point, as they offer a free version to get your feet wet using this technology. I particularly liked Jasper.ai, a paid service focused on commercial value for content marketing. With over 67 templates to choose from– including a ‘content improver’ and ‘creative story’ generator–Jasper will never leave you in the lurch with writer’s block.
Leveraging AI/ML in tandem with traditional PR methods will undoubtedly strengthen any campaign’s efficacy by providing a fuller understanding of target audiences. Similarly to automation, utilizing AI technology can speed up your workflow to allow yourself the time to focus on the important stuff, like strategy and execution.
AR is becoming increasingly popular for businesses looking to reach their audience with engaging content, especially in post-pandemic times. More and more companies are realizing the power of virtual and augmented reality holds in reaching their audiences. AR goes beyond Zuckerberg’s Metaverse creation or the new immersive experience exercise mirrors. AR creates a space for immersive storytelling– a PR team’s dream!
AR will enable brands to create virtual experiences that allow customers to interact with brands and products without ever leaving their homes. This will give companies an entirely new way of engaging with their customers, allowing them to create immersive experiences.
Recently, I saw a 5G multiuser basketball experience where Snapchat leveraged their “Connected Lenses” AR technology with telecommunications company Bell to allow fans to participate in interactive games during select Toronto Raptors Games. This is just one example of Snapchat utilizing their AR technology to connect with different segments of their audience. They’ve since teamed up with SoFi Stadium Screens and Hollywood Park to bring similar experiences, showing the strength that these engagement technologies can have for your brand.
Social media influencers continue to be a powerful tool for connecting with target audiences, as they have become increasingly influential over the last few years. Just look at how Dunkin Donuts capitalized on rising Tik Tok star Charli D’Amelio’s love for their coffee in 2020. Now, roughly three years into their collaboration, the coffee giant has released themed drinks and merchandise, as well as sparked virality with online challenges. Influencer relations can have quantifiable effects, with Dunkin Donuts selling hundreds of thousands of cups of Charli’s signature drink in the first five days and witnessing a 57% increase in app downloads.
As their platforms grow, companies can leverage these influencers’ networks as augmenting traditional PR tactics such as press releases or interviews. This allows them to build brand awareness through direct engagement with potential customers or stakeholders on platforms like Instagram and Twitter. In the new year, identify the emerging leaders in your industry and introduce them to your brand. You never know where that connection may lead!
Embracing technology in 2023 is essential to your success as a PR professional. From social media to AI, industry trends are emerging at an unprecedented speed. By leveraging emerging technologies and best practices, PR teams can ensure that they are creating modern strategies that effectively engage customers and drive measurable results.