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Katie Kern is a featured contributor to The Definitive Guide to Public Relations in a Shifting Media Landscape.

Here's the complete contribution:

There is no doubt the future of PR will be technology focused. As the digital landscape evolves and the traditional PR agency model shifts, PR professionals can no longer be comfortable with the conventional means and modes of communication. We must embrace and adapt to technology disruption especially when it comes to messages and how they are distributed.

Experts in the field predict by 2020 video and audio exchanges will be more influential than text, which means the importance of the press release and other established pitching techniques will be less impactful. PR will evolve into more than just publicity and media outreach by leveraging new forms of media and transmission channels such as digital platforms, AR/VR, voice and video to tell stories in new and engaging ways.

Research shows consumer attention spans are shortening — While millennials can stay engaged for up to 12 seconds, GenZ will only focus for eight seconds. We are essentially becoming a sound bite society which means the media we’ve traditionally used (articles and blogs) to communicate will fade as video steps to the forefront.

Press releases and media pitching will take on a new form as PR professionals start to use technologies like AR/VR to tell brand stories. Geography no longer becomes a factor when you can immerse and provide an interactive experience for a customer, who lives in Texas, with your client’s brand based out of Florida.

Digital storytelling

Digital storytelling will be one of the most important trends to impact the future of PR.

Through digital technology, PR firms can reach their target consumers with digital platforms to promote businesses and encourage purchasing decisions.

Voice

Brands have always had a voice, hypothetically, as their voice has historically been communicated through a certain look and/or feel. Now, PR professionals will have to adapt to using new tools and practices to get their clients’ messages across, aside from the written word.

Even though we are still trying to figure out how voice fits seamlessly into the big picture, we will have to make space for this emerging technology in our PR toolkit.

Video remains king

360-degree videos, live streaming and augmented reality means video is here to stay. Video will only continue to become more important and as PR professionals, we will have to adapt and leverage these cutting-edge technologies if we want to stay ahead and effectively communicate our clients’ messages in this new era.

What PR professionals have to remember is the way we relay messages will continually evolve over time. We not only need to keep up, but we must stay ahead of the change. Technology, and its growth in the industry is a given and not up for debate.


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