06 Dec 2023: predictions for the year ahead in PR
2023 is the Year of the Rabbit in the Chinese Zodiac. Astrologists predict it will bring with it patience, luck, partnerships, and success. I think we would all take that right now, given that the past year brought us the ‘Great Resignation’, meltdowns and layoffs at big tech companies, and a global economy teetering on the edge of collapse.
What does all this mean for public relations in 2023? Well, here are our top three predictions for the year ahead in PR:
1: Data is the only game in town
For several years PR professionals have been embracing the use of data to quantify their impact on business performance. Gone are the days of the nonsensical Advertising Value Equivalency (AVE), and clients falling head over heels for inflated vanity metrics like opportunity to see (OTS). This new era is all about granular data points focused on specific actions.
2023 will be the year all PR pros move closer to their marketing peers and fully embrace the power of data. Media coverage needs to drive business impact, so backlinks, website traffic, social engagements, and rising domain authorities will be the order of the day.
2: Fresh opportunities await
The stereotypical reaction to an impending recession is to cut, cut, cut. We saw this across the industry at the start of the pandemic, with businesses who feared the worst putting their PR efforts (and agency partners) on hold. But doing that in 2023 will be a strategic error.
The brands that come to the fore in the next 12 months will be the most effective communicators; the ones that start and lead conversations and shape the news agenda; the ones that know who they are, what they stand for, and what they offer.
3: Values are everything…live up to them
There has been a growing trend for companies to take a stance on wider societal issues. ESG campaigns will be a big part of PR and communications plans in 2023, but brands need to ensure they live and breathe the values they declare. Consumers and pressure groups have become very good (and aggressive) at calling out virtue signalling or greenwashing.
With a global cost-of-living-crisis, companies will also need to show value by actively participating in the communities where they conduct business. And that participation will be expected to be collaborative and genuine.
Hop to it
With the Year of the Rabbit almost upon us, PR teams must continue to use their ears to listen to the changing sentiment and news agenda, go big in search of new carrots (because they will be out there to find), and work with their clients or organisations to embrace effective communications and not be scared into battening down the ‘hutches’.