Looking back on PR in 2019 and future gazing into 2020…
Quite how we find ourselves in December and at the end of 2019 already, I do not know! This year appears to have flown by once again and true to form, the ever-evolving world of PR has involved the need to keep current and continue learning. It has also offered us opportunities to advise our clients and prospects on how we can continue to work in partnership with them and get their messages heard amongst their core industries and key influencers.
Let’s take a look back at what 2019 has brought us…
1. Content still remains king!
It’s an old cliche but it remains true. It really is all about the content. We have long been advocates of content being at the core of any marketing and PR strategy. Penning strong, thoughtful and industry-focussed thought leadership content to appeal to the market is at the very heart of a campaign and forms the basis for other content to take shape. Feeding this into website messaging, social channels, across sales, internally throughout the business, consistency is key.
The shape of content has changed over 2019 though – as end audiences, we continue to consume content in quick, easy, bite-sized chunks and this style of writing has become more common of late but so has the need to continue to tie everything back to driving traffic back to client websites. Being conscious of Google’s algorithms and tailoring content to fit these and maximise impact has never been more important.
Long gone are the days of throwing something out there and seeing what sticks. Defining target audiences is common practice but drilling down into specific personas to reach rifle-focused messaging that hits the mark has been more essential than ever as this year has progressed.
Once achieved, knowing just how to reach the desired end audiences has been an evolving art form too and one which needs to be spot on in order to ensure our clients provide their end audiences with relevant, interesting, engaging and on-message, personalised content.
With a somewhat challenging economic year and political uncertainty in there to boot, it has been more important than ever for businesses to allocate budgets wisely, ensure that particular service brings value to the business and can demonstrate this in fairly short order.
We have seen an industry over the course of this year that has been looking closely at results, measuring the impact of their PR campaigns and making us, as their agency partner, more accountable for not only the outputs of our activity but the outcomes in terms of impact on the business. And rightly so. Everything we deliver has to align to the overall business and work to support the end goals.
If I had a crystal ball I’d be dangerous. I’d love nothing more than to look into the future and see what’s to come (I’m a planner you see, nothing pleases a planner more than knowing what’s to come!). But, alas, not crystal ball here, just a wondering what 2020 will bring us…
This one is staying on here and in first place too. The need for content to feed numerous pipelines and channels will remain a key focus for next year. Adapting the style of that content to meet the needs of the forum on which it sits and the audiences to whom it is directed to will be where our experience, relationships and expertise will play a key part.
2. Blurred lines
PR is no longer a stand alone function. It is one part of a much wider marketing mix and the once defined lines between PR, social media, marketing, design, lead generation and the like will continue to blur into next year as integration remains key. Appreciating how all these functions come together, work together and create an impact collectively will define the shape of PR campaigns specifically for our clients moving forward.
This one also stays put. Measurement will remain key throughout 2020. Showing a return on activity – whether that’s how valuable the content being produced can be across the organisation (e.g. having an impressive impact in sales conversations or forming core pillar page content to increase dwell times), the impact of press coverage on profile and traffic to the website, increased engagement on social, or direct leads – the requirement to remain focused and demonstrate an ROI on PR spend is going to be top of our clients’ agendas as we head through next year.
So there we have it – we can look back on the above as we sit here this time next year and see just how these predictions measured up. For now though, enjoy the rest of 2019 and I wish you a very Merry Christmas and much success and happiness in 2020.
To find out more about how Neo PR can help achieve your business and marketing objectives for 2020, get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01296 733867.