As the world keeps progressing, especially with the rise of technology and the constant economic uncertainty, it is clear that both positive and negative developments really impact the way PR works (and will work going forward).

The future of PR will look at new and creative ways of completing projects, running events and dealing with crises. Everything will have to be handled differently, without changing the scope of the role of what professionals in the industry do. It’s important to keep your ear to the ground for any impending changes that could impact the PR industry going forward. 

Without wasting time, let’s look at where the PR space is headed:

1. The added value of technology

Without any doubt, technology is something to consider when it comes to PR. Like any other industry, tech continues to change the way that these professionals conduct their work.

The time for being ‘old school’ is over; now, you have to be current and create progressive content, as audiences are spending most of their time on their digital devices (think laptops and smartphones).

Let’s consider a PR agency such as Black Cherrie Management, which has been ahead of the curb by offering services through advanced tech.

The agency offers virtual tours of event spaces, which audiences can view from their smartphones, tablets and laptops. This gives clients the opportunity to get a feel for properties and spaces without having to travel to the location. In turn, this offers a brand unlimited accessibility, authentic realistic experience and improved visibility.

That’s just one of the things that will be a good tech adjustment for the PR industry to implement in order to expand their services.

2. There are advantages to using SEO in PR

To be a successful PR professional, or to run a successful firm, it’s important to keep up with tech, the Internet, social media and the fourth industrial revolution. Why, you ask? These platforms can be assumed as the future of hosting, interacting and selling.

That’s where search engine optimisation (SEO) comes in! Without the above-mentioned elements, it would be challenging to measure the quantity and quality of your website traffic to your PR content.

Here’s a scenario: You’re hosting an online event and even after you’ve sent out invitations, your clients and audiences still struggle to find it when searching for it online. What could be the problem?

It’s simple — you need to master the use of keyword optimisation in order to attract your audience through search engines like Google. This means that you should use words, #tags and related industry terms in the invitation that match the content for your online event.

It could be said that SEO is more of a ‘marketers thing’; however, it has now become one the fundamentals for PR pros because it helps put your content in the top position. And, it’s good for putting you ahead of competitors when users search for content organically, as you’re most likely to appear first.

3. Personalised events are going virtual

Gone are the days where PR pros need attendees to RSVP and hope for a high number of them to their event.

With the way things are currently going, and working from being the norm, virtual experiences are becoming a big thing. As a PR pro, this is a good opportunity for you to create events that are customised for particular groups or individuals.

Allow attendees to register for themselves through a portal with a few tailored questions that will enable you to get to know each attendee on a more personal level. For example, you could ask questions about their age, product preferences, careers, etc.

The responses to these questions they give could help you understand which profession or age group is more interested in your events.

Creating an online event also allows you to multiply your audience as there are no physical hindrances to stop them from attending, meaning more people are able to participate in the event. And those who couldn’t attend could always have full access to the recorded version.

4. It’s all about building fruitful relationships

If there was ever a time to invest all your people's skills, the time is now. Your scope has to go beyond just networking and exchanging business cards, because your chances of meeting up with others in the real world are fairly slim at the moment.

So, why not go the extra mile? After every engagement at an event or industry meetings, don’t just email to say thanks. Build a conversation with some industry players that you feel could be of value to your brand. Ask for their social handles, and if they're active, engage with them and share some interesting insights.

Continue to send them samples and other products from your brand to their address of choice or even their personal home address, since most people are now working from home. This could create great engagement for your brand, if and when the recipient of a goodie bag shares it on their social media platforms.

Lastly, don’t bombard them with intiviations, texts and emails. Allow for engagement to be natural and respond appropriately.

With PR being largely affected by 4IR, what do you think about the future of PR? Let us know in the comments section below.

We see you’ve enjoyed our content right until the end. To get more insightful stories, sign up to our newsletter.

Did you think the use of virtual reality goggles was just for entertainment and gaming? Think again and check out these Three ways to use events as PR opportunities.