2021 Public Relations Trends: More Personal & Honest

What are going to be hot in public relations in 2021, what wont?  We asked some leading public relations experts and here are their thoughts.

“PR trends are definitely going in the direction of being more personal, more honest, and more vulnerable than ever before. Consumers and audiences want to see the REAL people behind the curtain. Now more than ever, it’s so important to be relatable with your messaging and connect on a personal, human level…. cookie-cutter slogans and jumping on popular trends isn’t going to work anymore. It’s all about showing up personally and vulnerable for your audience and being 100% authentic,” said Dawn Jones, CEO of Pressed PR.

Beth Adan, Marketing Director of Moxxy Marketing said, “I predict we’ll see an influx and continuation of socially-distant happenings, including virtual conferences, Zoom meet & greets, and digital webinars.  Digital webinars hosted through YouTube or another video recording tool have brought a welcomed connection to clients, partners, and other industry professionals during COVID-19. They are low cost and safe to produce, and offer valuable information that can be hyper-targeted to a specific audience. Unlike a large conference which is for the more broad industry public, digital webinars have the ability to hone in and deep dive on subjects that matter to companies today, and tomorrow. 

Social media will also continue to grow in 2021, with a large move of people getting their news from social networks like Twitter and Instagram. Instagram alone saw a 40% increase in users during COVID-19, and with the addition of Reels, businesses are able to reach a growing targeted audience to spread their message.”

Pierre-Loïc Assayag, co-founder and CEO of Traackr, an influencer relationship management platform said, “TikTok’s not going anywhere; in fact, the movement has just begun. TikTok had a bit of a bumpy ride this year but it still marked the beginning of a new era by proving the social media platform giants can be challenged with fresh ideas. In the coming year (and beyond) we’ll see a surge of platforms taking a page from TikTok with short form video, low production content, and content-based algorithms for better virality.”

Assayag added, “Market share gaps get fueled by influencer marketing bets. The pandemic has drastically accelerated digital transformation across the board, but especially in the sales and marketing world. Unfortunately 2021 will be the year that some brands realize they are already too late to the game. As budgets shrink and digital spaces get more and more crowded, the divide between companies who invested early in digitally native solutions like social commerce and influencer marketing and those who have just begun will increase exponentially. Fast forward 3-5 years, and this adoption gap will eventually translate directly to market share.”

As an influencer platform, Assayag added that brands will

find the link between social and sales with data, commenting, “As companies turn up their spend on influencer marketing and social commerce, it will be crucial to understand how these channels fit into the marketing mix. In the coming year, brands will heavily invest in data analysis to understand the connection between social and sales metrics, further define their KPIs, and inform strategic decisions.”

 Ethan Taub, CEO of Goalry, said “A major public relations and marketing trend for 2021 will be brand communities. Being able to build and maintain an online community of actively engaged customers is truly powerful. With certain influencers transitioning to build and promote their own commercial brands, organizations must build audiences of their own.

The number of organizations who have actually succeeded in nurturing a community with a true fan base is dwindling fast. However, there will be great rewards for those who succeed. Being able to quickly grow an online community and keep it engaged is likely to be regarded as the real “viral marketing” of 2021 which is looking to be the biggest year for algorithms yet. Obviously the idea of “brand communities” is an old one and it has typically resonated with ideas of loyalty memberships or online forums. With inspiration from how influencers build their communities, this might be about to change.”

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