Technology has become integral to public relations.
Over 85 percent of PR professionals expect their focus on technology will increase significantly over the next five years, according to a research study conducted by Mynewsdesk and Berghs School of Communication.
Some 2,500 PR professionals and communicators across eight markets were surveyed, and the response was crystal clear: Technology is essential to implementing any modern PR strategy.
Here are four technology trends transforming PR and communications in 2017:
The ability to track the effects of your PR campaigns have become increasingly important in 2017. Analytics tools were already the top class of tools used by communicators in 2016, and the hunger for more data shows no signs of being sated.
Data underpin every aspect of modern marketing and PR, which is why more and more marketing platforms include some built-in analytics capacity.
Communications between businesses and their customers increasingly are being played out on social media, rather than on traditional channels such as email or telephone. When today’s customers have a problem or question, they expect to be able to contact companies through social media and receive an almost immediate response.
They also expect their favorite companies to have an active presence on social media and are ready to respond with comments and “likes” when content they enjoy is shared.
In 2017, experts predict that Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram will become even more important to marketers and PR professionals, as they are all platforms with highly engaged audiences. However, 2017 may be the year that Twitter’s popularity finally begins to wane.
The online world is experiencing a revolutionary shift away text-based content and toward video as the go-to communication medium. Now that the vast majority of people have access to a high-speed internet connection (even when using mobile devices), PR and communications professionals can embrace video without worrying about alienating a large section of their audience.
Also, as fake news abounds and consumers grow wary of scams, video provides a level of authenticity that can help in building trust.
Video and image creative tools are used by more than 50 percent of communicators, but demand for them can be expected to grow even higher in 2017. To get ahead of the trend for authentic video content, communicators must pick the right creative tools and use them to create engaging video content.
In 2017, email remains an extremely important form of communication between businesses and their customers. However, communicators should change how they use this traditional marketing tool. Now that customers are likely to view their emails on mobile phones, expect to see the average length of an email shrinking to fit the smaller screen size.
It’s also likely that communicators will begin to integrate email with other aspects of their communication processes. For example, the latest generation of chatbots can send emails to customers, using data from their conversations with customers to personalize the content of the email. The more personalized email becomes, the more valuable it will be for building strong relationships with customers.
Rasmus Hallgren is community manager for Mynewsdesk, a PR technology company.