From going hyper-local to leveraging video content, brands that are winning the Public Relations game in 2020 are tapping into these three trends.

Hyper-local coverage

While few PR pros would scoff at a big national hit for their clients, those interested in turning coverage into engagement are also taking a close look at hyperlocal publications. Local online publications that cover slivers of a city are not only disrupting the media market’s traditional model, they’re growing in popularity and, according to Forbes, many are even turning a profit.

PR professionals looking for earned media have been forced to search beyond the traditional newsroom, where staffs have been gutted and budgets pillaged.  Smaller, online publications may not get the reach, but their readers are targeted, loyal and, typically care deeply about the small town or neighborhood they live in. Who else would gravitate toward an online publication – and oftentimes – pay for a subscription?

These smaller outlets, like Patch, for example, are especially effective for brands wanting to demonstrate deep community roots.

Bottom line: Don’t overlook the little outlets. They may net big engagement.

Video content

It makes sense that video content is one of the biggest marketing trends now, but the best video content also integrates PR principles into the mix. Video content is authentic so taking an approach that feels sales-y may fall flat with consumers.

PR pros are using platforms like Tik Tok to show consumers what they might have tried to tell them in the past. For example, a water filter company could send out a release about its amazing product, but showing consumers in a video – even one shot with an iPhone – creates a much more compelling message.

Bottom line: Integrate video marketing tools into your PR strategy.

Stand for something

Putting a brand to work for a common good is the right thing to do. But beyond that, it generates positive goodwill. Increasingly, consumers are looking for brands that stand for something.

Studies show that consumers prioritize companies that give to a cause, advocate in their community and act responsibly. It’s important that brands go beyond lip service, however. Today’s consumers can sniff out insincerity and inauthenticity. Plus, it’s an action that will generate positive goodwill.

Bottom line: Go beyond the image and find a cause that fits your brand.

Nancy Mays

Author Nancy Mays

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