Outlook for 2021: PR and communications industry

Guest Column: Udit Pathak, Founder Director, Media Mantra, said that the communications strategy and the brand messaging, 2021, will be interactive thereby facilitating engagement at diverse levels

e4m by Udit Sagar Pathak
Updated: Mar 10, 2021 4:05 PM
Udit Sagar Pathak

The pandemic indeed upturned our lives with its entrance in 2020. It brought about a lot of challenges and changes in the functioning of organizations along with their communication and marketing strategies. 

However, looking at the bright side, it also drove the inculcation of digital adoption by both start-ups and brands. With the change in business models and the functioning of the firms, changes were witnessed in the organizational communication strategies as well. 

With the remote working and hybrid work models on the rise, internal and external communication has shown various changes. While 2020 was a year of downfall, 2021 seems to the year of hope and revival and is expected to be filled with opportunities. 

Have a glimpse at the outlook of the Public Relations and Communications Industry for 2021

  1. PR will have a notch above advertising

2021 will witness an increase of public relations activities over advertising when it comes to the organization's marketing strategies. 

Along with coping up with the virtual and hybrid working, the brands will focus on rebranding and reimaging along with a hope to recover. Their key focus will be on honing their PR tactics to achieve these goals. 

They will also stress on inducing purpose-driven communication which will further aid in reviving their brand image, position in the market along with ensuring that the business and revenue generations pick up the pace. 

  1. Content continues to be the king

Content and its variations will drive better client engagement from the agency's perspective. Hence, content engagement as a concept will undoubtedly witness a rise. 

The PR campaigns and communication plans will focus on content engagement and will thereby incline towards developing content that will be interactive, positive, interesting, and insightful and will come with a call to action. Such strategies will further help in enhancing the brand’s image. 

Also keeping up with the new fad in terms of the kind of content working well with the target audience and possessing the capacity to go viral is another aspect that will be focused on by the brands when drafting their communication campaigns. 

For instance, nowadays video-based content works well and receives a lot of traction and attention from the masses. 

  1. PR’s scope will broaden up

PR’s scope will broaden up and it will keep on encompassing further activities under its umbrella.  A prominent example of this being the fact that with the shrinking media funnel due to COVID-19, influencer engagement has seen a rise. This will form an important element of the communication planning and will be majorly used as fillers in 2021.  

Additionally, PR will now look at solutions to deal with virtual events, online communication, managing crisis, and coming up with innovations in campaign strategies to keep up with the changing times. 

Another emerging trend will be focused PR and it will secure the topmost placement in the communications plan of brands and start-ups. This implies that the focus of the PR professionals will be on thought leadership and opinion pieces along with securing campaign-related media coverage. 

  1. Relationship marketing skills are a must

While relationship building and marketing are essential traits, relationship marketing skills are a must-have for any PR professional in 2021. 

Developing campaigns focused on client satisfaction and retention along with catering to client loyalty will be given prime importance. 

Since PR is all about building and maintaining good relationships with both the client and the media, possessing relationship marketing skills will help the brands developing stronger, deeper, and emotional connections with their target audience. 

Relationship building and marketing are all the more critical considering there is an absence of interpersonal communications and e-conversations are on an increase. 

  1. Digital to be on an upsurge 

With the organizations moving on the digital space to ensure seamless working, traditional along with digital PR will also see a surge in 2021. While some say that the digital is and will overpower the traditional PR methodology, this wouldn’t happen. In fact, traditional and digital go hand in hand while complementing each other. 

Since the digital evolution initiated in 2020, this year, it will experience a rise but will eventually support the traditional PR strategies. 

Summing Up

PR and Communications industry will witness dependency on technology along with the introduction of technological advancements. The communications strategy and the brand messaging will be interesting and interactive thereby facilitating engagement at diverse levels. Despite being disconnected in the always-online connected era, communication strategies will act as a catalyst helping to bridge this gap between the online and offline medium and to develop a stronger and deeper connection with the target audience. With the increase in digital preferences, remote working along with hybrid work models, 2021 is filled with waves of enthusiasm, innovations, creativity, and especially revival and hope.

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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