Get Your Public Relations Market Ready | Public Relations Trends for 2017
By putting your most compelling story in the public eye, you can create and maintain, over time, a positive brand perception. All of this work—from pitch to reputation management—falls under the umbrella of public relations.
/noun/ Communication management that makes use of the public eye and other non-paid forms of promotion to influence the feelings, opinions, or beliefs about a company and/or its products or services.
Public Relations is the work that brings your product, service, message or mission into the public conversation. Coverage is achieved by contacting key media authorities in specific, targeted regions and spaces where you can present your brand how you want it to the people who should see it.
More than just the pitch, though, public relations also describes the management and maintenance of a positive public image.
According to the Market Ready Index, most business-to-consumer public relations (column 8) is scoring 44.0 although the 2017 target score is 67.0 – a variance of -23.0. Overall, the average B2C scores 50.9, 22.2 lower than the 73.1 target score. Based on best practices, these scores provide a metric for comparison.
Public Relations Trends for 2017
As the role of public relations becomes more and important, there are some trends that could create more engagement in your communications.
Today you just can’t say, “We’re authentic.”
Many brands have a perception gap between them and their customers and will need to work hard at doing the right thing. Companies will be proving their authenticity through action. Consumers have signaled their intention to reward those that prove their authenticity.
Some of the top brands perceived as authentic include Disney, Microsoft, Amazon, Apple, Intel, VISA, and LEGO.
Think about moving from “critical” to “credentialing pitches.”
Third-party research or studies from a university, think-tank or non-profit entity can boost the chances a pitch will be successful. Media outlets are much warier of information they receive now—especially if it is from a practitioner, company or organization with which they are not familiar.
Contacting third-party sources who might be willing to participate in your story will prove even more beneficial.
Public Relations responsibilities are growing. From media coverage to social media to online reviews, businesses, organizations and individuals will rely on PR professionals to protect and enhance their reputation.
There is significant concern about the destruction of reputations through fake news sources – for good reason. Online ratings and ratings-based websites and the need for public relations professionals to actively work to protect brands is even more apparent.
There is little doubt this phenomenon will continue to be a growing challenge, and it surely cannot be solved with one-click algorithms from “IT firms” who send out generic responses to complaints.
Getting Market Ready for 2017
Understanding where your public relations is today is a first step in making the decisions and changes that can help you compete in the marketplace. The Market Ready Index™ Self-Assessment is a free (beta) resource that helps you understand where your PR, and other channels of Communication, is today.
It also provides benchmarks for B2B, B2C and NonProfit organizations to better understand how they compare to other businesses, just like them.
The point of all of this is that if you are really trying to make a different this year, then you’ll have to do something different this year. A subjective evaluation is a start, an objective evaluation is a next step. Get real about how prepared your business is to compete and you’ll stand a much better chance in reaching your goals. – kp