Public relations is an ever-changing field and the rise of digital marketing has helped to shape the future of it. Brands and consumers alike have realized that the personal relationship public relations offers is beneficial and welcoming. With the rise of social media and a strong focus on individuality and every consumer’s opinion, developing a strategy for a personalized public relations approach is much more appealing than distributing a general and impersonal message.

After collaborating with Web Talent’s newest hire Angalena and discussing where PR is headed with other members of the team, we came to the conclusion that 2016 will place an emphasis on the importance of a personal connect in public relations. In this post we will take a look into the future and recommend the best tips for performing outreach and connecting with consumers and brand enthusiasts on a personal level in the New Year.

Social Media

By now many companies have realized the importance of social media and 2016 will most likely bring an increased effort to reach more individuals. This includes investing in paid social media and quickly answering inquiries, messages and questions on your business’s social media page. Facebook and consumers alike are watching how quickly businesses respond to questions on Facebook, and this places an emphasis on the importance of having a personal interaction with those who visit your page.

Facebook-Response Time

In addition to responding quickly to questions, reaching more people through paid social media will be increasingly important as well. Facebook’s organic reach has declined greatly so reaching your audience through targeted paid ads will become more popular. Many social media platforms offer an opportunity to selectively target audiences by gender, age and location so take advantage of reaching your audience through these methods instead of posting a general message to the masses.

Establishing Thought Leadership

When reading about the PR trends for 2016 I found that some publications are placing a strong emphasis on thought leadership. One of the ways we help to establish thought leadership for our clients is by finding opportunities to serve as a regular contributor to industry publications where you can establish credibility and interact with others in your industry. Another great way to establish thought leadership is to have meaningful conversations with followers and fans on social media. The more consumers see you as someone they can trust, the more they will place their trust in you.

Mobile Platforms

Making sure your website is mobile friendly is extremely important, as this continues to be the major driving force behind search and will be important in 2016. Whether you are a blogger or small business, make sure your site is mobile friendly, especially if you generate a large amount of content (which is very important!). Having a mobile friendly site will ensure that users have a positive experience interacting with your brand to keep them coming back for more.

Pitch Perfect

I was discussing the elements of a perfect pitch with my co-workers and we came to the agreement that it is increasingly important to connect with journalists on a personal level and not send a mass pitch. The more you can learn about what a journalist or reporter is looking for and be a resource to them, the more success you will have with your relationship. Building a positive relationship with the media is no longer about sending out a mass release for your company’s product, it is about touching base with the contacts at each publication separately and tailoring a specific email to reach them.

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In addition to sending a personal pitch, reaching journalists through social media will have more relevance as well. Take the time to connect with them on Twitter and LinkedIn and learn more about their interests. This is a great way to build a personal relationship, which is the key to success when pitching. Create a list on twitter of all the journalists relevant to your company. Check it often to see if you can help them out in any way. Many members of our PR team research journalists on social media prior to reaching out to make sure we know as much as possible about them and their target publication.

What trends do you expect to see in public relations in 2016? We will keep you posted throughout the year with all of the changes and latest happenings in the world of SEO, PPC and Web Design and Development.