Communicators today face significant challenges: rapid social and economic change, increased political strife, global upheavals, climate crisis, the COVID-19 pandemic, war in Ukraine and a rapidly evolving media landscape.
Communication practitioners are expected to analyse data, target the right journalists, personalise their pitches, measure and report on their results – and do it all quickly.
At the same time, most journalists feel overwhelmed by poorly targeted pitches, as evidenced by Cision’s 2022 State of the Media report. To be effective, strategic communications professionals must evolve inefficient legacy practices that no longer deliver results. The embrace of new tools, such as AI-based predictive analytics and machine learning, is essential.
These technologies, when applied correctly and in good faith, can empower PR professionals to do their jobs more efficiently and remain effective – at scale.
At Cision, we envision new ways in which technology can be applied to support strategic communications with systems and data that facilitate meaningful, constructive relationships between media professionals, subject matter experts and influencers. Our philosophy is to focus on the people behind the products and the ways we can help them reach their unique goals.
The most effective and empathetic way to apply advanced technologies is to enhance – not replace – the crucial human element.
For 2023, we've identified three key changes that companies and brands will need to navigate in this complex and fast-moving environment. The question is not if, but how.
Prediction #1: Brands are expected to speak up.
The era of brand neutrality is over, as social consciousness is increasingly important to consumers. The events of the past year have revealed buyers’ expectations that brands will take a stand on important issues.
Consumers are pushing brands to clearly state their values and positions, and they’re demanding that companies go beyond just making statements while doing business as usual; brands are being held accountable for taking action to fulfill their DE&I and ESG goals, and to align with the values of their customers and partners. Authenticity is the new currency in brand loyalty.
One major challenge is the ongoing generation and propagation of misinformation. New ownership at Twitter seems to embrace absolute freedom of speech, and editorial controls have been quickly removed.
Combine this with a widely expected global recession and you have an environment where conspiracy theories and the promotion of simplistic villains and heroes in complex situations can gain real traction.
It will be crucial for communications professionals of all stripes – publicists, brand managers and marketers – to understand public sentiment and know where and when different constituencies expect to hear from brands.
Technology can surface critical conversations, changes in the marketplace and trends so humans can do what they do best: Consider the options and act accordingly.
For my next two predictions for communicators in 2023, and what they mean for your comms strategy, read the full article on PRSA:
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