Data, AI, and Storytelling: The 2024 PR Playbook
Public Relations has never felt more dynamic, with the disruptive emergence of generative AI, and its broad implications, at the forefront of change that really began to be felt in 2023. And yet, the foundation of PR remains similar to what it’s always been: real, authentic, opportunistic and attuned to changing market dynamics.
As we look ahead to 2024, following are emerging trends we’re anticipating.
Humanity at the Core
The ability to communicate appropriately and empathetically, in any situation, is crucial. This is as much for storytelling rooted in a brand’s ethos, as it is in the ability to respond appropriately to reviews, requests or complaints. In 2024, this human-to-human approach must be seamlessly integrated with technologically-driven communications strategies.
Authenticity Reigns Supreme
It wasn’t just the 2023 word of the year, it’s become even more important in an age of information overload and digital fatigue. PR specialists must ensure that brands have an authentic voice and genuine belief in what they stand for. And authenticity will become a key metric for measuring success.
Partner, not Replacement
Generative AI will continue to play a bigger role in all communications. Not in replacement, but in moving more deeply. Generating customer insights. Personalizing content. Analyzing data. Headline testing. Automating repetitive tasks. Whether ChatGPT, Bard or a customized version, PR pros need to embrace these copilot tools… in a responsible way. All of it freeing up time, or expanding possibilities for creativity and strategy.
Marriage of Expertise
Great PR increasingly will intersect with SEO in order to ensure that each external message receives attention and leads to higher brand awareness, visibility, and even sales. PR pros will need to understand the fundamentals of SEO, as well as platforms SEMrush and Google Keyword planner, in order to drive digital discovery.
New Voices for Brands
While mainstream media may continue to see declines in engagement, there are increasingly powerful, niche ways to engage with target audiences. Substack newsletters and podcasts, in particular, reach highly interested and engaged audiences through highly-respected authors.
Social Media as the Battlefield
Social media isn’t an alternate form of communication, but a central battleground for deeper connection. Mastering the art of creating engaging content, sparking meaningful conversations, and navigating the ever-evolving algorithms will be essential. Understanding the nuances of each platform and tailoring strategies accordingly will be the key to success.
The days of gut feeling and intuition are fading. PR professionals will increasingly rely on data to inform their decisions, measure their impact, and optimize their strategies. From analyzing social media sentiment to tracking website traffic, data will be the fuel that propels effective campaigns.