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January 7, 2016
PR Trends for 2016

This week, our Account Director Sarah Harte blogs about what she thinks the PR trends for 2016 will be… 

Belated Happy New Year! We hope your 2016 has gotten off to a fantastic start. Here in DHR, we are always really excited at this time of year as we look ahead to what the next 12 months will bring.

The public relations industry is ever-changing and evolving, so it can be tough to predict what’s coming down the line, particularly given the rapid developments in digital and online. However, we’ve decided to put on our Mystic Meg hats and share what we see as being the trends in PR for 2016.

Video Content

  • The rising importance of video is something we’ve been on to for a while in DHR – incorporating developing online video content and clips into our service delivery (plugging our YouTube channel here!). However, it’s set to get even BIGGER in 2016.
  • Periscope, the live streaming video mobile app purchased by Twitter last year, now enables users to go live via mobile devices and stream video anytime, anywhere to viewers who join the broadcast. We’ve just begun to dip our toes in this, so check out our Periscope channel and watch this space for live broadcasts this year!

The press release is dead, long live the press release!

  • PR and media relations have never just been about the trusty press release. In fact, calling it a ‘press’ release may now be a misnomer, as it needs to appeal to a wide variety of stakeholders – not just the media – including employees, clients, consumers, investors, partners, and more. As other forms of communications evolve, so too does the press release. Indeed, some of our colleagues remember the days when the press release was typed and posted to news desks – so times have been changing for a while now! However, the very pace of this change is accelerating.
  • With new media outlets emerging and traditional media outlets diversifying and creating content across multiple platforms, it’s crucial that the press release keeps up with the times. But they need to be short, engaging and remain relevant. This will include adding audio clips with clients talking about new campaigns, services, reports, which can be uploaded to platforms like Audioboo and embedded into online stories. Video (as mentioned above) can also be included, particularly where content is quite visual or requires a demo. Other elements include drafting short facts that can be tweeted out easily which can generate engagement on social media (and including bespoke hashtags). The possibilities are endless!

Creating Engagement through Storytelling

  • With so many competing messages, it can be difficult to be heard – this where is where smart storytelling comes in. However, the human attention span is decreasing at the speed of light and, as we’ve heard so much about storytelling over the past while, the marketplace is now filling up with high quality content – so spinning a good yarn just won’t cut it anymore.
  • You need to create content that will engage your audiences by being not just entertaining, but by being useful. Your story needs to connect on a practical level with your time-pressed audiences. What will make someone stop and read this story? What will make them click? And even more importantly, what will make them remember your message and stir up engagement and interaction?

Social Media Advertising and Paid Promotion

  • The benefits of social media are now well documented – companies, brands and organisations understand the impact that social media can have in increasing awareness, connecting target audiences and marketing content and messages. What’s even better is the extent to which progress can be tracked with analytics and insights – making your efforts tangible and measurable.
  • If you’ve only been engaging through posting updates across your organisations’ social media profiles, 2016 should be the year you consider doing more with social media advertising. Since we have such a high percentage of active social media users in Ireland – which stands at 80% according to last year’s Reuter’s Digital News Report, the third highest internationally – seeing ads on social media is a great way for users to find out about your campaign, product or service. So why not start small and test the waters – you can measure the return on your investment and if you are seeing a positive response, put a plan in place to build momentum particularly around upcoming events and launches. It’s definitely worth a shot.

What do you see as the big trends in PR for this year?

(Image via http://under30ceo.com/6-necessary-steps-hiring-pr-firm/.)



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