Happy New Year! As we close the door on 2021 and leap into 2022, we wanted to share some of our thoughts about how we’ll be approaching PR in the upcoming year. Whilst we continue to navigate through change and uncertainty, there are some fundamental shifts we’re seeing that will influence, inform, and shape the way we create PR strategies for our clients this coming year.
Here’s our take on the five areas that will matter in PR in 2022 and beyond.
- Social issues. More than ever, companies have to stand for something, and they have to say what they mean and do what they say. Trust is integral to building relationships with the media, analyst community and customers. Telling the truth. Being authentic. Taking a stand on social justice initiatives, climate, and political issues (local or global) are now important to telling your brand story. We’re shifting to a world where people are making more purposeful choices. They want to partner with companies that align with their values. Companies that care more about people than the bottom line stand to gain the most in the coming years.
Pro tip: Craft what your point of view is on three important global topics and be ready to share these thoughts or answer direct questions from your audiences about your stance on everything from the accelerating climate crisis, your sustainability initiatives, to how you provide your employees with flexibility, mental health support and work-life balance.
- Internal communications/employer branding. Many companies are being challenged with trying to find and keep employees. Why is employer branding important? For starters, competition for quality talent is fierce. You have to do a lot more than posting on social media or offering fun perks to attract candidates. Brand and the reputation that goes along with it matter and it’s how you can set your company apart from the rest. Investing time to communicate your company’s mission, strategy and values can make a positive impact on your hiring and retention efforts.
Pro Tip: Leverage PR to help with this effort. Yes, we focus much of our time on building your external brand awareness, but we can be instrumental in creating messaging and content that also resonates with your employees and prospective employees. Lean on us to build the messaging and strategy to keep employees—and customers—fully engaged.
- Customer-first. This isn’t necessarily a new direction, but more a matter of putting real effort behind making it a reality. What do we mean by this? Whilst we all aspire to be customer-first, how many of us can say with confidence that we are a customer-first organisation? Personalisation is key along with eliminating the complexity from your messaging and focusing on the value you can deliver. Whether that’s convenience, cost-savings or efficiencies, it all must be communicated in a way that is clear to your audience. It’s more than offering an innovative widget. It’s about being transformative and solving a problem or advancing growth for your customers. Your PR messaging and strategic positioning needs to centre around how you think and who you are as a company versus what you do or what financial results you’re reporting.
Pro Tip: Conduct a messaging audit of all communication channels—website, press releases, blogs, paid search, social media—to ensure you’re clearly messaging the value and purpose of what you offer to customers and speaking in their language (human-centric), not in technical jargon or industry-speak. We can help facilitate a strategic messaging audit that will streamline your messaging and ensure you’re communicating clear value.
- PR + marketing as one team. This teaming up is vital to building lasting brand awareness and creating a more cohesive, unified company story. Continuing to silo these efforts works against the goal of customer-first. A collaborative approach to marketing that brings together the superpowers of both PR (thought leadership, earned media) and marketing campaigns (lead generation, content creation, product marketing) will help companies stand out in a crowded, noisy marketplace.
Pro Tip: Involve your PR team in all 2022 marketing planning from setting the budget to planning campaigns. The earlier we know about marketing outreach efforts, the better we can align PR to help companies make a true and lasting impact that reaches and resonates with their target audiences.
- Mergers and acquisitions. We’ve spent the last two years living with so much uncertainty. This will not change in 2022. As companies take a look at the current landscape, we expect more organisations to consider the opportunities that mergers and acquisitions present. Merging teams to source talent and acquiring new capabilities to build out offerings is a proven growth strategy that could accelerate in 2022.
Pro Tip: Mergers and acquisitions require careful planning and PR plays a big role both behind the scenes leading up to and following the event to make it successful. Look to your PR team to create an effective communication and messaging strategy. Read our blog: Mergers and acquisitions: How PR helps you navigate change to learn more about how the TechComms team can help with merger and acquisition planning.
Cheers to new beginnings! We’d love to help you grow in new ways in the year ahead.