“If I have my last dollar, I will spend it on Public Relations.” – Bill Gates
Statements such as this is what makes the Public Relations practice worthwhile especially in an era where the growing relevance of Public Relations is constantly being questioned. It is also the perfect segue in answering the question about whether or not with the advent of new media, PR effected through traditional media is still significant and most importantly still as effective as it used to be. What then is the future of the public relations practice?
The future of public relations (PR) is likely to be shaped by advancements in technology and changes in the media landscape. Digital media and social media platforms will continue to play an important role, as they allow brands to directly engage with their target audience and control their public image. The rise of influencer marketing, chatbots and AI, and data analytics is expected to shape the future of PR and influence how companies communicate with their stakeholders.
PR professionals need to take advantage of data analysis because it helps organizations to better understand and track the effectiveness of their communication and reputation management efforts. Through data analysis, PR professionals can identify trends and patterns in media coverage and other key metrics which can then inform future strategies and decision-making.
Additionally, it helps organizations to measure and demonstrate the impact of their PR efforts, making it easier to justify investments in communication and reputation management initiatives thus it has become increasingly important for professionals in the field to be skilled in leveraging digital tools and platforms to reach and engage target audiences.
The PR practice is gradually heading to a time where majority of the focus is being placed on the effectiveness of campaigns rather than its execution. PR professionals need to subsequently build support and investment for communication and reputation management initiatives that contribute to the overall success and growth of the organization. This can be done through establishing clear goals and KPIs, tracking and analysing results to understand what is working and what is not, communicating PR results with stakeholders, including executives, managers, and other teams, demonstrating the value and impact of your PR efforts, using data and metrics to make a compelling case for the value and impact of PR initiatives.
Overall, it is important to note that target audiences of most brands are drastically evolving; the “boomers” (1946-1964) are moving out of the marketplace, giving way to an influx of Millennials and Gen Z’s hence there is clearly a need for PR professionals to adapt to new trends which include data collection and analysis to produce content that suites the particular range of audiences for specific brands.
Written by: Asantewaa Osafo, PR Executive, Global Media Alliance.