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With a whole new year stretching out in front of you, it's time to take stock of what trends and changes your department or company is going to face in the months ahead. The next steps for the Public Relations universe will likely include a few continuing trends from 2016, alongside a few long-gestating ideas whose times have come. Having the right strategies, technologies and experience in place to make the most of these new developments can give you an edge in 2017.
When it comes to pitching stories to publications, the process may speed up considerably in the year ahead. PR firm Affect recently listed a more complex pitch procedure as a major trend for 2017, based on the fact that journalists' jobs have now become defined by speed and volume of output.
How does a writer make an impact in an environment that's running through content at a record pace? More production is the answer, at least for now, which means it's time for PR professionals to adapt to this style and provide reporters with more grist for stories, especially when it comes to limited pieces of information. Affect called for PR team members to be ready with quick sound bites that journalists can deploy in a hurry. This helpful relationship may enable firms and PR departments to get messages into the hyper-speed news cycle.
While the news is likely to speed up, a separate trend recap from PR News explained that publications will be more interested in fact-checking. Following the proliferation of falsehoods and surprising turnarounds that defined 2016, reporters are looking for deeper information than ever to make sure they're not mistakenly publishing any “fake news.”
This means being ready with plenty of deep information on demand, to ensure your company or client appears in a good light - but how is such depth compatible with the increased speed described above? Finding the middle ground between high-speed news and a need for verifiable facts will be the challenge in 2017, inspired by the very atypical media year that was 2016.
When it comes to dealing with the public and managing your brand reputation, the watchword for 2017 may prove to be "human." Lithium's Dayle Hall, speaking with PRWeek, explained that even though companies dallied with the idea of using artificial intelligence to interact with people in 2016, consumers still crave a personal touch.
Hall compared 2017 and online interactions to the dawn of automated help lines. Companies that thought they were riding a technological wave by taking people out of the customer service equation ended up alienating their consumers, while the old-fashioned organizations scored PR wins by being more human.
The complexities of PR in 2017 will build on the challenges of 2016. With the right equipment and preparation in your bag of tricks, however, you'll be able to keep up. This is one case where your IT preparations may seriously empower your efforts to stay relevant. Media monitoring and media intelligence solutions can keep up with the high-speed news cycle, give you an in-depth view of outlets around the world and ultimately strengthen your campaigns.
The aforementioned tech, combined with a super-powered combination of fast reactions, deep insights and a good dose of humanity, will see your team of PR Superheroes through 2017. In an environment that is evolving and speeding up, there are advantages to be gained for companies that can adeptly make changes and adopt new tactics faster than their competitors.