People aren’t travelling. Customers are shopping online. Everyone is glued to their phones and social media. 2020 is a different year but change has always been a part of Public Relations.

With increasingly discerning customers and stiff competition in every industry where every brand is fighting for attention, PR will help to establish long-term relationships with the audience which will weather any crisis.

As we dive into the new year of 2021, here are 7 public relations trends that you NEEd to know!

1. It’s Safe to be Safe

With the ongoing global pandemic (the notorious Covid-19), there is no doubt that there will be a huge emphasis on health and safety of the public. Many brands themselves thus value their own safety highly too.

Consumers will prefer to purchase items like hand sanitisers from a brand they perceive to be reliable to minimise unnecessary risk especially in this time of uncertainty, where consumers will trust brands with high credibility. With that, companies must make their stand clear so as to gain the loyalty of customers!

Communicate your company’s stance on health and safety – and drive the message to your target audience via multiple channels such as in the media space or on social channels.

2. Gain Publicity for Virtual Events

Due to safety measurements such as travel restrictions, most, if not all, events have become virtual where everyone had to adapt to the changes.  

Today, Zoom and Google Meet are no strangers to us, be it for online school, work from home, online church services and others. Those who were unfamiliar with technology and its functions had to adapt to the situation and learn how to use technology overnight.

Major events have had to adapt in terms of logistics and planning and there may be a silver lining after all. “Going virtual” or the innovative use of technology by brands could become a talking point that will make them stand out from others. It is also a way of refreshing the event that may make it more relevant than ever.

Learn about 5 ways to navigate events in a post-Covid world.

Throughout 2021, we must continue to keep an open mind and be flexible as we are uncertain of what may happen next, and execute events accordingly.

3. Ground Your Communications in Data

Today, numbers and data play an important role. When it comes to likes on social media posts, how many followers there are and other such measurements, organisations and companies will begin to attempt to brainstorm and make changes in the respective areas.

This way of analysis is becoming increasingly prevalent across various industries. These numbers are an indication of how successful one’s campaign is, and can be strategised into areas for improvement, thus allowing for future campaigns to be more effective and successful.

4. It’s Time to Get Creative

New year, new ideas! 2021 calls for experiments with fresh ideas and a paradigm shift of the whole tried-and-tested systems as we take into account the coronavirus outbreak.

What are we waiting for? Step out of our comfort zone and think outside of the box! Our society is ever changing, advancing rapidly, and there are more ways than ever to gain publicity for a brand.  

Whatever skill sets and techniques that were well suited in the past may not guarantee press coverage.  Thus, companies should seize the golden opportunity to attempt a new method to target their audience.

5. Personalised Events

Shoppee? Lazada? Food Panda? Sounds familiar. We now shop online, eat online, work online. Undoubtedly, our lives revolve around the internet and convenience today. Therefore, it is likely that we will spot an increase in e-commerce events, where brands will use online platforms to engage with customers.

It is of utmost importance that companies keep these events personalised to cater to the needs of the customers and remain sincere and authentic.

Consider engaging suitable brand ambassadors such as macro or micro-influencers who will engage your target audience more effectively.

6. Jump Onboard the TikTok Bandwagon

The younger generation is hooked onto social media. Yes, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat are the common platforms where you’ll see their purple, blue and yellow icons that have become synonymous with the brands by pure colour association.

As quoted by our Gen Z intern, do not miss the “rising star” out.

*Drumroll*

It is none other than TikTok!

The app has been downloaded over 1.5 billion times worldwide. With quarantine measures keeping most of the world at home, many have been self-isolated, and have been deprived of real-life social interactions.

Billions have turned to the TikTok to self-entertain or to look for opportunities to socialise online – and we’re not just talking about Gen Z and millennials.

Companies can use this to their advantage, and make good use of this platform to promote their products or services while collaborating with influencers on TikTok.

7. Value-based Spending

People are supporting brands that align with their values more than ever. Given pressing urgency of global warming, those who are eco-friendly will choose to purchase from environmentally friendly stores that are sustainable. For example, second-hand clothes and items, disposable cutlery made from degradable plastic and others.

The Black Lives Matter movement, where people prefer buying and supporting businesses owned by black people, or boycott brands that do not communicate their stance on racism is also in motion.

A recent Consumer Index Report by Suzy Consumer Insights reported that 65% of consumers are more likely to support a brand that cares about the same social issues they do. Consumers are very likely to care about the actions organisations and companies take and use their influence for a good cause.

Find ways to humanising your brand and product to gain the invaluable support of your customers.

Get ready to hop on these trends this 2021!