No one knows what the future is going to look like, however, futurist Ross Dawson has said there’s a few areas PR agencies can tap into to try and cement some sort of future.
The reality of the situation is that many PR agencies won’t survive or prosper in the next few years. It will be very few who do, said Dawson.
So below are four opportunities PR agencies need to start learning about and acting on.
1. Customer co-created brands
This is where the PR agency is working with its customers. Sounds simple enough, right? Brands aren’t just the companies, they’re partly created by the customers who want them and demand them.
“To actively do that, and to actively engage the process of getting your customers to your brand is something PR agencies have far better capabilities than any other marketing discipline. Certainly not advertising.”
2. Increasing transparency of a brand
“There’s a lot of trends at the moment that are pointing to great organisational transparency,” said Dawson.
It’s an area where PR agencies can swoop in and make sure the company is being transparent so as to not get lambasted by social media.
“We’re just at the beginning of this massive opening out of transparency of organisations,” added Dawson.
“Again, this is something that requires the capabilities of PR agencies to be able to manage that.”
3. The Shift in visual communications
While PR firms have tended to be text and words based, now much of the industry is about visuals, and PRs need to make sure they’re up to speed on the new up and comings in visual communications.
4. The rise of branded content
It’s a massive shift in how brands are getting attention nowadays, with Dawson reckoning advertising is “gradually on the way out”. And one of the things that’s taking its place is branded content, he said.
“This is something where any number of different firms or agencies and their capabilities can come, but again the best of the PR professionals themselves can be outstanding at presenting content which is truly engaging and that people want to relate to, instead of pushing a message.”
A lot of branded content, he said, is all about selling still, when it should be about engagement. And PR’s understand this better than most, he believed.