Getting Your Message Out: Public Relations Trends for 2015

    Editor’s note: This is a sponsored post for PR Newswire.

    Although Public Relations was only recognised as a profession in 1900 with the establishment of the Publicity Bureau by George V. S. Michaelis in Boston, its practice dates back thousands of years. Julius Caesar used publicity to convince the Romans that he was the best leader in his fight for power with Pompeii, and the Levellers in England used pamphlets to promote universal suffrage. 

    The profession has constantly evolved. In the early 20th century, it moved from being mainly a pastime of governments to the private sector. From the 1950s onwards, the trade developed professionally. Trade associations and agencies were formed. Schools began teaching it and the term became well known. 

    At the beginning of the 21st century PR started to shift online. Press releases were distributed to websites and via email as opposed to postal or courier delivery. Distribution became digital and globally accessible. 

    Nowadays, the profession is universally recognised and new tips and tricks are being developed daily. We think that 2015 will be an important year in that regard, and wanted to share our thoughts on its future.

    We asked PR Newswire to put together what they think will happen in 2015. They pioneered the commercial news distribution industry back in 1954 and have seen huge changes and growth in the subsequent years. Today they have over seven hundred thousand journalists on their Agility database and each day deliver over 1,500 news releases in 40 languages to up to 22,000 news organisations worldwide so are uniquely qualified to predict what will happen in PR in 2015.

    PR, Marketing and Social Media Merging Together

    PR professionals use social media actively, in order to achieve their goals, while marketing objectives are becoming their key KPIs, more companies now understand the importance of measurement and metrics and are judged on what they deliver so it’s time to stop treating the different disciplines as separate. They are all interconnected. This extends to distribution of your news and content, and of course – measurement of results. 

    The Modern Press Release Becoming Widespread

    We’ve already mentioned this in October. It is time to change the way you look at the press release. Seriously. With a few exceptions from the most creative folks and PR Newswire blasts, most of the stuff we receive at ArcticStartup  is right out of the 1970s PR textbook. 

Thankfully, this is starting to change and we are finally seeing a lot more press releases that actually make our jobs easier. As Kaarle Salonen, Senior Business Development Manager at PR Newswire in Finland told us:

    “We’ve been talking about this for over three years now and people are finally getting better at doing it. Nobody wants to just read. People want to see visuals: logos, videos, infographics. It helps you understand immediately what the story is. PR Newswire Multimedia News Release – was developed with this in mind and has proved extremely popular with clients and has all these features and more, and is constantly evolving to reflect the ever changing uses of existing and new media”.

    Multimedia is no longer an option. In 2015, it will be a must have. So please, stay on top of the game, read our article and send us a modern press release along with a nice, short, pitch email.

    PR has always been about people skills. For decades, that was the core. Yet as we mentioned earlier, the reliance on data and analytics forces the profession to take a closer look at what social media and marketing folks are doing. 

    With the advance of technology, we see that in 2015, PR will reach a point where hard-core technology skills will be just as important as people skills. If not more so. 

    This means that there will be a lot more technology coming our way and you will have to make some choices. Which metrics are you going to track? Will you use Slack, Ezyinsights, Klout, Stacker and if so – what are you going to do with it all?

    Everyone will do PR. No Matter what Position they hold in an organisation.

    The world is interconnected and everyone can disseminate information. This is no longer the reserve of just the professional and traditional news outlets. One tweet, can literally, change the future of a company and it does not take the CEO to do it. 

    So in 2015, engaging all of your employees in PR will become a key trend. In fact, there are already startups, who focus specifically on doing just that. Take the winner of last year’s Arctic15 – Smarp, who have got clients such as Linkedin and Ernst & Young to test their employee engagement platform.

    As another example, Kaarle Salonen told us about the S-Market group in Finland, who have announced a major price reduction across hundreds of products in all of their supermarkets. 

    “They went out with the news online. The country manager was online, and responding. From the very top, to the guys selling in the shops – the whole organisation was involved somehow, pushing the message at the same time. They did not even share the news with many journalists beforehand. It is not about marketing anymore. When someone is writing about you, you have to jump on that immediately.”

    Increased Use of Technology for PR.

    PR and reputation is vital for business of all sizes. From a two-man start-up to a multibillion Fortune 500 and the way it’s done is not all that different for the two. Getting everyone in the company to understand and follow this trend will be key towards promoting your brand and establishing and maintaining reputation.

    If you want to find out more about the trends and how PR Newswire can help you out, get in touch with Kaarle: Kaarle.Salonen (a)