The team at Target Media Directory offers eight do’s and don’ts to help you get to grips with the PR industry in 2019.

Here they are:

1. DO build relationships beyond the media

Connecting with members of the media has always been a fundamental part of the job as a PR pro. But in 2019, your contacts list will require an update. You need to consider building relationships with the people, and brands, who have earned a trusted and respected voice in the eyes of your client’s audience.

This is not to say that journalists are out, but rather that your scope of media should widen to also include social media influencers, industry thought leaders, bloggers and vloggers.

2. DON’T be unprepared for a communication crisis

The best way to combat a communication crisis is to prepare for it before it hits. And as more industries turn their focus towards digital, PR pros will need to be just as equipped to handle a crisis online as they are when it comes to traditional media.

2019 sees even more people become active Internets users. And through the use of social media, consumers can share information instantly, meaning they can also point out a brand’s mistakes faster than ever before.

In order to counter any negative mentions, you need to be actively involved in the online conversation surrounding your client from the start. You can do this by monitoring the reaction to your communication strategy through a brand tracking service.

3. DO ensure you’re ready for automation

Artificial intelligence (AI) has been a hot topic over the last few years, and 2019 won’t be any different. As the technology behind AI becomes more accessible, it’ll slowly begin to change the way many industries — PR included — operate.

The world of PR is set to see a major upgrade as many mundane daily tasks will become automated. It will no longer be the PR pro’s job to schedule meetings, sift through volumes of data or, in some case, write press releases.

Including the capabilities of AI in your daily routine will allow you to not only delegate work but also give you more time to generate insights and create brand strategies.

4. DON’T forget to have a personal PR strategy

PR pros work around the clock to build and perfect reputations. And while most PR pros thrive when it comes to crafting seamless strategies for their clients — 2019 will be the year that focuses on ‘the personal brand’.

The best way to make the most of this trend it to use your expert skills to really build your professional reputation. Find out what it is that sets you apart from other PR pros and turn it into your selling point.

5. DO focus on your client’s audience

A big part of a PR pro’s job is to understand the client’s audience. This is so they can focus their communication strategy and build strong relationships between brands and consumers.

Thanks to the Internet, understanding consumers is easier to do now than ever before. There is so much data available online — from their age and geographic location to their social media habits and communication preferences.

All of this data can provide you with insights that will help you accurately determine who your client’s audience are and how to reach them.

6. DO understand how paywalls and paid-for content will impact your clients

Paywalls are cementing their place in the world of journalism as more and more publishers opt for the paid-for content route. And many, if not all, PR pros rely on journalists to publish press releases and other branded content on their behalf.

The problem is that paywalls could decrease the number of publishers who are still willing to take on press releases — and this will make it even more difficult for PR pros to earn media coverage.

While there are many benefits to paid-for content, it’s vital that you understand exactly how it impacts both the journalists you work with and their audiences.

7. DON’T underestimate the power of nano-influencers

Nano-influencers are a new addition to the influencer marketing mix. Their reach is usually within a well-defined niche, with only a few thousand followers. But with more brands set to pick up influencer marketing in 2019, they’re not something any PR pro should ignore.

There’s no denying that a nano-influencer can sway the thoughts and ideas of their audience. Equipped with an airtight communication strategy, they can build a connected relationship between your client and their audience.

Make sure to consider exactly what a nano-influencer can do to help you meet your campaign objectives quicker or efficiently.

8. DO focus on a niche industry

Most industries need a PR pro to protect their reputation, converse with the media or execute communication strategies. And in 2019, the rise of niche markets will give PR pros the opportunity to become specialists.

Working in a niche industry means that you’ll quickly get the inside scoop on the jargon, daily operations and trends. Earning this kind of experience can easily turn you, or your agency, into a communications leader in your particular industry.