AI, Fake News, Micro Influencers are top PR Trends in 2018

There is no better time to invest in PR. Public Relations is becoming more relevant than ever. Over the years, brands have realised the importance of talking to their consumer directly. Today, PR is way beyond just stories and press releases, it is touching boundaries of advertising & marketing. Agencies are hiring in-house content creators, digital experts and influencers who can manage end to end communications for clients. With these developments, we see some interesting trends in the field of PR.

Artificial Intelligence
Artificial intelligence (AI) is beginning to disrupt the entire communications world. A major part of our job as PR professionals is to predict how consumers will respond to a brand. Artificial Intelligence is largely about futuristic predictions based on existing set of data. We can expect large consultancies to start adopting AI tools in churning out content and distributing it to media channels. As a result demand for the data scientist will eventually grow in the coming years in PR.

Voice against Fake News
Last year the issue of Fake news hit the roof as it reached the doors of United States Senate and The European Union. As per a report by Gartner, if the problem of fake news persists by 2022 most of the information we will consume will be false. Countries like Germany have started putting regulations against Fake news. As per the hate speech law any sites which do not remove any illegal or fake information could be fined up to 50 Million Euros. A move by the Indian Information and Broadcasting Ministry for laying down tough guidelines for journalists and fake news was hastily withdrawn in a matter of hours, earlier this week, after the Prime Minister intervened.

Micro influencers will lead the pack
Debate on the authenticity of influencer marketing has been going around for quite some time.  Lately, there have been controversies around fake followers, lower engagement and the use of bots in social media channels, which have reduced the impact of heavy investment influencer engagements. What we have started seeing is the rise of micro-influencers. Today, rather than having influencers with millions of followers, brands prefer engaging with micro influencers. They are influential people who have their own niche, but they do create higher impact and engagement as compared to big influencers.

Amplification of your message
Rather than having one big story out there, amplification of the message is becoming all the more important. A right mix of owned, earned and paid media is becoming a part of the news dissemination matrix. Digital PR will play a key role in changing the way PR agencies will target stories to the right set of consumers. Creative ways such as native placements, visual storytelling will soon become the new normal in PR.

Article written by Nikunj Kewalramani, corporate communications, OLX India

If you enjoyed this article, you can subscribe for free to our weekly event and subscriber alerts.