PR Pros, Communicators Expect Industry to be “Redefined” In Next 5 Years
MuckRack Report Highlights Change on the Horizon for Public Relations
It’s safe to say we saw this coming – change is coming to the public relations industry over the next five years. It shouldn’t be a surprise considering how people are receiving news and information in an ever-changing way thanks to social media’s effect on our ever-shortening attention spans.
This means great emphasis on consumer-drive content within the industry, by more companies or organizations that want to connect directly with users. That in turn, will likely seed new PR needs that the industry will answer.
Just how much change will occur in the next few years is debatable, but MuckRack’s recent report, “State of Public Relations 2021” revealed that 48% of communicators, whether working for brands, nonprofits or PR firms, believe there will be at least “moderate” change. Another 34% however, said they believe there will be drastic change to the in the PR industry.
With this change, 73% of PR pros believe the idea of “public relations” will need to be redefined in the next 5 years.
Though not directly stated in the report, this will likely result in good for the industry.
A great question to ask is “why?” To answer, the change and need to redefine what PR pros currently do is brought about by the advances in technology and social media that have transformed how communicators tell stories or drive influence with audiences.
At the same time, audiences have become more resistant to traditional marketing and advertising, and expect more out of the brands they care about due to platforms like Instagram or TikTok. Audiences can pick and choose who they want to follow and see content from, while the expansion of social media has allowed more and more brands to be present and followed by these audiences.
In other terms, this has spurred a more customer-oriented focus in public relations that goes far beyond a traditional press release or a press conference for some new product or event.
This creates new challenges for communications, but who doesn’t like a good challenge? In particular, one that also brings about new opportunities for communicators as more companies and brands head to social media to connect with consumers. This will likely continue a growing need for PR help as companies look for new strategies and ways to connect directly with the end user.
This is highlighted by the data in MuckRack’s report, which found that 48% of respondents believe the number of PR firms over the next five years will increase. Only 27% thought the number of agencies will decrease.
In addition, 83% of PR pros said that the role the public relations and communications will grow in the next five years.
So overall, the data highlights some encouraging outlook for the PR industry and any companies in need of some PR help in the next few years.