PRs have had no end of challenges to performance over the past 12 months.
We came out of the main part of the pandemic to an economic crisis and change to monarchy in the UK.
We’ve seen many trends blow up this year, from NFTs to the Metaverse; some of which will stand the test of time.
As we enter 2023, Rise at Seven has partnered with BuzzSumo to comment on our top predictions for the world of PR in the next 12 months.
What is set to be the biggest trend for PR pros, and what obstacles will we have to overcome in the next year?
1. Trends will emerge at lightning speeds
Will Hobson, PR Director at Rise at Seven said:
“The next year consumers are set to be even more impatient with how they consume news, and how they want to purchase.
As PRs it’s our job to make sure we give our clients’ audience what they want, but also influence what they need.
This can be done through a variety of different PR tactics, from product jumping on trending social media posts – something that works really well with beauty brands – to thought leadership commentary, positioning a brand as an expert surrounding a trending subject.
One thing to note for the next 12 months is that these trends are set to come and go at lightning speeds.
This means there isn’t time to sit on a PR idea. It needs to be executed quickly before that trend’s shelf life ends.”
Check out our trendjacking guide to learn how to discover and make the most out of what’s trending, when it’s trending.
Rise at Seven rely on BuzzSumo’s Trending Feeds to constantly stay updated on the big media moments that can be used to help secure coverage. The team recently used trending stories to get their client, Getir, 28K app downloads in a promotion that reached 281m people. Read more about the ways the team land press coverage for their clients on our blog.
2. Centering real-life stories will help PRs appeal to journalists
Rosie Gogoley, Senior Digital PR Executive at Rise at Seven said:
“The PR industry evolves faster than most other sectors and going into 2023, journalists are warier of content in general.
For this reason, much of the focus next year will be focused on solidifying a better relationship between the PR professional and the journalist, which can be reached by being more transparent, authentic, and listening to the journalist’s needs in order to cut through the noise.
Most PR strategies rely on data hooks and jumping on reactive trends, but the future of building relationships with journalists in 2023 is going back to being authentic and personal.
Journalists are using more and more real life stories as part of their hook to help improve the connection they have with a particular audience.
For this reason, using stories and experiences will guide PR efforts and help determine how authentic your pitch will feel to journalists.
Choose a more consumer-centric approach to promotion and focus on value-based storytelling for your brands.”
Learn more about writing the pitches journalists want to read and building strong relationships in our journalist pitching guide for PRs.
BuzzSumo’s Journalist Profiles help the team at Rise at Seven create lists of relevant journalists and publication to pitch to during their campaigns. Using BuzzSumo tools to aid their outreach efforts has been essential in helping them achieve incredible results. Read the full case study to learn more about how using BuzzSumo across their teams helped Rise at Seven landed a £400K contract.
3. TikTok to continue setting and dominating trends
Lucy Hebden, Digital PR Executive at Rise at Seven said:
“TikTok will continue to dominate the trend cycles throughout 2023 and it is super important to be across these and find how we can use these for PR.
The platform may have started being primarily focused on teens, but over the past few years it has become a major part of many people’s everyday lives.
Whether it’s using the platform to predict the next big trend, picking up on viral comments and videos to spark inspiration, or using TikTok metrics within reports, TikTok can be tapped into in so many different ways, and this will only develop throughout 2023.
Many people are now actually using TikTok as a search engine itself.
Instead of asking Google, we are looking for raw unfiltered content from everyday people to find out what next face cleanser, lip gloss, or handbag we should buy.
Tapping into this and connecting brands organically to what people want is crucial to keeping up with, and profiting from, the ever changing trend cycle.”
4. Personal finance will persevere within the news agenda!
Luke Castle, Digital PR Executive at Rise at Seven said:
“Finance PR will continue to consume a lot of resources from newsrooms.
The cost-of-living crisis will remain a trending topic, with monthly opportunities for financial brands to jump on.
As such, thought leadership will remain in demand, but newsrooms will become more decisive on the experts they want, according to their expertise and the relationship they have with them.
A key part of building links with Finance PR is the relevancy of brands, with a significant amount of industries jumping on the financial crisis.
Relevancy will remain key to success in PR, with brands significantly more likely to see results by sticking to commenting on their industry.
Make use of your spokespeoples’ expertise. Have a look at exactly what your client offers to the public, and conduct PR around that.
Relevancy is hugely important and will help you achieve your goals, leading to increased coverage and also a more relevant audience.”
5. Coverage will start with the audience, not the brand
Katy Townshend, Senior Digital PR Executive at Rise at Seven said:
“With the rise of social media and influencers, over the past few years consumers have been bombarded with paid advertising and brand promotions.
Whilst this can work very well when done right, consumers are becoming more immune and more resistant to these kinds of promotions, and we can see influencer marketing trying very hard to appear more organic and natural.
We are already seeing, and will continue to see this trend infiltrate the press and product PR strategies in 2023.
Publications are moving away from covering new launches from a brand perspective, and more towards covering new launches from a reader perspective, whereby products are presented as already being popular and approved by their audience.
For example, we can see this in the trend of products now being covered not as a ‘new launch from X’, but as the ‘new TikTok viral product’.
To keep up with this change, product PR releases and strategies will need to reangle themselves to be already relevant and approved by an audience in an organic manner.
This is where we will also see a shift towards social media strategies and PR working closer together.
For example, making a beauty product go viral on TikTok, and then sending this story to press to indirectly promote a new launch.’’
6. Brands need to start taking ownership of first-party data
Madeleine Dykes, PR Account Supervisor at Rise at Seven said:
“While data is often at the heart of digital PR campaigns, to set themselves apart from the crowd, brands need to leverage unique first-party data that says something about them, their audience, and their industry to really make a splash.
Too often brands miss the mark because they’re afraid to take ownership of the data and valuable insights they can offer.”
7. Digital PR competition will increase in European markets
Nicole Sijbers, International PR Lead at Rise at Seven said:
“More global brands will start seeing the benefits of Digital PR, and therefore start investing budget in agencies who can replicate the success of UK strategies internationally.
Even though this is a positive development for global agencies, it also means that you will see more competition in those countries in the upcoming year.
Whereas now Digital PR is less known in European countries such as Germany, Spain and the Netherlands, for 2023 I expect those markets to develop further.
You will see more Digital PR’s active in those countries, which means journalists will receive more press releases in their inbox.
In other words you have to start thinking how you can stand out from the competition with your campaigns and invest time into building relationships with journalists.”
8. PRs will continue to seed campaigns on social media before pitching
Laura Miguez, Senior International PR Manager at Rise at Seven said:
“Even when a campaign is not planned to be distributed across different channels, we keep seeing the benefits of pushing it on social media channels where our target audience might be.
This hasn’t yet been exploited to its full potential, and we’ll increasingly see more PR campaigns shared across social media in 2023.
It’s a hugely cost-effective and easy way to gather data, insights, and stats that you can use when pitching your story to the press.
It also gives your campaigns an additional push that can make a huge difference when it comes to the value of your results.
Not only does it increase your opportunity to build links, but it also boosts brand awareness, conversation, and overall makes the brand more recognisable to potential consumers.”
9. Authenticity will be key to build trust and brand loyalty
Karla Fernandez, Digital PR Associate at Rise at Seven said:
“Authenticity is a trend we will see carry over into 2023 and beyond.
While AI will continue to evolve and heavily influence how we create and consume content, it’s no secret that it often lacks the unique connections that only humans can create.
With consumers demanding more transparency from companies and social media platforms like TikTok and BeReal, encouraging the creation of ‘no filter’ content, the brands that deliver the most authentic, rawest stories will likely be the winners in 2023.
As PR professionals, it should be our goal to create experiences and narratives that deeply connect with our client’s mission and values, and authentically respond to their audience’s interests and needs.
Authenticity will continue to be the key to customer engagement in 2023.
Now more than ever, people are looking for content they can relate to and brands they can trust.
The best way to build trust and brand loyalty is to know your audience inside and out, trust your authority and experience, and don’t be afraid to get real and vulnerable, and create relatable content that educates, entertains, and inspires your client’s target audience.”