As PR professionals, we are constantly tasked with keeping our fingers on the pulse of what is current and meaningful in our client’s respective industries. However, the task does not end with our clients. PR professionals must also look within, and most importantly, outside of our own industry to stay ahead in a profession that has been traditionally slow to transform. No longer limited to reputation management and press outreach, PR is morphing into an integrated, collaborative role that requires both a higher level of thinking and desegregated approaches.

Immersive Storytelling Moves into the Forefront

From retail and movie production to advertising and now PR, immersive storytelling has found its way into new spaces beyond gaming. Both public relations and journalism are experiencing breakthrough technological advances as storytelling moves beyond 2-D. The next iteration of innovation in PR will advance far beyond traditional case studies, press releases and b-roll and will include immersive storytelling.

In 2019, viral video content, 360-degree video and the imminent rise of virtual and augmented realities will fuel a different way for PR professionals to tell stories. Understanding the true value in the future of immersive technology, our agency partnered with immersive technology company You Are Here Labs, and a VR/AR influencer, Cathy Hackl, to help launch the world’s first Holographic Press Release™. The technology presents a new way for organizations to introduce a new product or share their brand story with their target demographic through everyday apps such as SnapChat and Facebook. PR professionals must realize content has moved past the written word and into the future of immersive storytelling and that their audience is waiting to meet them there.

The PR Professional Skillset Expands

PR pros of the future will no longer be siloed to media pitching and press release writing as integrated tactics. They will have to master the bigger picture by wearing the hat of a marketer and social media manager. The PESO Model (paid, earned, shared and owned content) will become PR’s biggest untapped opportunity, as professionals will need to have the same data-driven mindset as marketing. As an agency, we approach content creation through integrated efforts.  For example, our PR team pulls from long-form content we create to assist our marketing team with curating email marketing copy,social media posts/captions and content for our company newsletter. As companies become more customer-centric in their approach, I believe there will be an increase in collaboration between PR and marketing, to foster greater continuity in the client experience.

Content Creation Grows

Today’s brands are becoming more agile in their approach to content creation, consistently churning out blogs, articles and video.. No longer reserved for journalists, companies and organizations like Coca-Cola and UPS are publishing their own news and editorial content to newsrooms located on their website. With this, one of the most prominent trends of 2019 for PR professionals will involve producing more content that mimics the 24-hour news cycle. PR professionals can no longer sit on stories and ideas in hopes that trade or business publications take notice. By nature, PR professionals are true storytellers, so we must start crafting content that speaks to our client’s audience with the intent of surpassing the reach and influence of more traditional outlets within their respective industries.

PR Measurement Improves & Integrates

Measuring the value of Public Relations has been the industry’s Achilles heel for decades. While PR does not follow the standard marketing framework, data-driven insights and analytics will become more imperative for PR professionals – especially when it comes to creating brand awareness, understanding audiences and driving brand storytelling. The once impenetrable silos are starting to disband as communicators start to recognize the benefits of integrating those functions. Additionally, marketing and PR measurement of earned, owned, paid and social media will be integrated into a single online dashboard to help meet the needs of multiple departments. PR professionals will then be able to leverage this data to establish themselves as a central piece to key data that will ultimately impact decision making.

Of all the predictions mentioned, the only constant trend in communications is change and PR is at a crossroads. As an industry, we can choose to adjust and take advantage of the countless new opportunities available to our industry, or, we can resist, refuse to adapt and ultimately, get left behind. The choice is up to us.

-Nikkia Adolphe, PR Director of Media Frenzy Global

Originally published on CommPRO.