Top communications’ trends for 2024
The world of public relations and communications is more dynamic than ever before.
The past year alone has witnessed the entry of many new and fresh approaches to the way we connect and converse, the kinds of stories we share, how we deal with the media and why we need to better manage risk.
So, what can organisations and individuals in the business-to-business arena anticipate this year!
(These are a compilation of what Parker Public Relations is witnessing first-hand and what other PR pundits around the world are saying.)
A humanised and more personalised approach to communicating.
Very much a post-COVID phenomenon, this has resulted in an explosion in organisations telling their story, showcasing the people ‘behind their brands’ and articulating where they stand on key social, environmental and governance issues.
We’re increasingly hearing and will continue to hear how businesses are championing important causes, doing the right thing by the environment, operating ethically and giving back to the community.
On top of this, we’ll continue to see more CEOs and business leaders emerging from behind the anonymity of their brands to become the “human face” of their organisations. They’ll be the ones communicating directly with customers and shareholders, building their personal brands, creating and sharing valuable content on social media and generally raising awareness about issues relevant to their target audience.
Social media will continue to dominate … with LinkedIn taking top spot.
LinkedIn will remain the go-to platforms for B-B businesses, leaders and professionals looking to showcase their expertise and thought leadership. Also, with the current messy state of Twitter (or X?), we will continue to see more and more members of the media jumping ship and switching over to LinkedIn.
In keeping with the personalisation of PR and communications more generally, we will see this extend to LinkedIn. So, expect to see more images of people with their children (grandchildren), heart-warming stories of people doing good for their community, and images of adventure-filled vacations.
This move towards integrating personal content with the traditional work stories is also a response to the dissolving line between work and life. The artificial wall that once separated the ‘work’ version of people from the real-life version has largely disappeared, giving people permission to bring their full selves to work every day.
Another ongoing trend on LinkedIn will be in short-form content – both text-based posts and video. The focus will be on providing tiny nuggets of really, useful advice rather than large tracts of text filled with multiple ideas.
Thought leadership content to focus on client needs.
2024 will also see thought leadership content increasingly focus on client challenges, pain points and priorities as well as analysing current trends and their likely impact on business.
Also, in keeping with the growing humanisation and personalisation of brands, thought leadership content is less likely to come from the organisation itself (aka the marketing or PR department), but increasingly from senior leaders and subject experts within the organisation whose names will increasingly appear on blogs and other thought pieces.
As a result, the content will be less formal and will express the opinions, points of view, language and tone of the authors themselves.
Big growth in employee advocacy.
As the war for talent intensifies, we will see more and organisations encouraging and supporting their employees to become their digital brand ambassadors.
And who better to spread powerful messages about a great company culture and work conditions than staff members themselves? They understand their organisation better than anyone else does and as a result their engagement is likely to be more authentic and believable.
According to the Edelman Trust Barometer, people are three times more likely to trust company information shared by an employee than that shared by the CEO!
Focus on providing the media with great value.
With the ongoing challenges faced by journalists (ever diminishing newsrooms), businesses will need to work harder than ever before to be a valuable resource.
What this will mean is that every story we pitch to the media will need to accurate, timely and highly relevant to journalist or publication it is intended for.
In addition, it will need to include pertinent multimedia, documentation, statistics as well as the contact details of the in-house expert or spokesperson.
Crisis management will be more important than ever before
In the age of social media, crisis planning is vital. It doesn’t take long for bad news to spread, and our actions to either work for or against us – be it a faulty product, an accounting oversight, or in the case of Optus, a major outage.
Regardless of what it is, unresolved issues can quickly escalate into much bigger ones, causing significant financial and reputational damage to your business.
So, in 2024, it will be more important than ever before that businesses are properly prepared for potential problems. Key to this will be the use of social media which will play a vital role in managing and neutralising negative publicity.
I hope that 2024 will be a successful year for both you and your organisation!
Parker Public Relations provides done-for-you public relations for organisations – publicity, reputation management, content creation (including guides and business books), social media management as well as access to public speaking opportunities. We also provide personal branding and LinkedIn training workshops and coaching for CEOs, business owners, professionals and academics.
To get in touch, call: 0422 694 503 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org