5 PR and communication trends for 2021
Guest Column: Udit Sagar Pathak, Co-Founder and Director, Media Mantra, says, communication strategy that bridges the virtual & physical divide & engages customers will be more prominent than ever
The workplace and industry as a whole are rapidly evolving especially since the coronavirus outbreak. There has been a fundamental change in the way businesses offer customer services, organisations communicate internally and agencies interact with clients to continue business as usual. Though challenges have always existed, the response has never been so quick and extraordinary. Undoubtedly, the pandemic has accelerated the rate of change at unprecedented levels.
A year full of upheaval, 2020, has also been the catalyst of the digital revolution. Many businesses have embraced digital either by adopting an e-commerce model or by moving online for customer interaction, training, teaching, etc. Further, amid the increasing complexity due to remote work, internal and external communication strategy has undergone a significant transformation. Let us talk about the evolution of PR and communication in this rapidly changing world and trends in communication for the year 2021.
- The Rising Trend of Livestream
The pandemic has effectively eliminated the possibility of any sort of indoor mass gathering including events, seminars, annual functions, concerts, sports events, business conferences, trade fairs, etc. When "staying safe by staying indoors" remains the dictum, businesses moved to the safe confines of online events, webinars, and podcasts. Though many companies are getting back to pre-COVID ways of work, it will take long before normalcy resumes or maybe we never head back to what it initially was. The likeliest scenario is a hybrid of new developments and what used to be. Award shows, industry conferences, regular events would likely be conducted in a virtual environment as it pulls increased participation, increased website traffic, and allows connectivity with audiences and stakeholders from across the globe.
- Virtual Meetings are Here to Stay
Virtual meetings is one of a few positive developments that have emerged during 2020 and this move by businesses is hopefully here to stay as it provides a much-needed tool to boost diversity, workplace inclusion, and work-life balance.
Before the coronavirus outbreak, if anyone of us had attended a virtual meeting it might be an occasional webinar, video calls with friends and family, or long teleconferences with no video at all. With many people, it was common to catch a flight once or twice a week to attend meetings in different locations around the country including business events, coffee catch ups, lunch meetings, etc. The digital switch from frequent and long meetings is an idea being liked by everyone both for its comfort and time-saving feature. It will likely stay for long!
- Predictive Analysis via Artificial Intelligence
Predictive analysis can use statistical algorithms, data, and machine learning techniques to calculate the probability of future events based on historic data. In this way, you can know beforehand which topics will probably arouse the interest of the target audience. Further, predictive analysis can help create new markets by identifying potential customers. AI can find adequate trends and interests by analysing customers in real time, thus, helping PR and marketing to increase its reach significantly. In this digital world, predictive analysis will become an important part of PR and communication strategy.
- Importance of Interactive Content
Through the interactive content which includes images, text, animation, games, quizzes, puzzles, infographics, etc., the users are easily lured into taking a call-to-action. PR professionals are increasingly using interactive content as it helps them get key information about their end-users known as ‘interaction data’. As we enter a new year, we will see the major influence of interactive content and data on PR and communication strategy.
- Importance of Transparency
As businesses and communication channels go digital, customers fear fraud, theft, dishonesty, and misinformation. Therefore, the honesty of brands is the top-most concern of customers these days. Addressing the issue, the usage of digital mediums by companies to communicate their commitment to transparency will increase in 2021.
With more businesses moving online and remote work becoming popular; it will be interesting to see what drives the organisational strategy in 2021. Talking about communication, the dependency on technology will increase along with the advancements in technology. The communication strategy that bridges the virtual and physical divide and engages customers will be more prominent than ever in a fragmented world.
Disclaimer: The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not in any way represent the views of exchange4media.com
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