By Lucy Aziz, Senior PR and Communications Manager, OPPO GCC

Lucy Aziz, Senior PR and Communications Manager, OPPO GCC

The PR and Communications realm is always shifting, agile as the media landscape is constantly evolving and the way news is consumed evolves rapidly. However, there are some trends I see emerging, some that are in their infancy but rapidly growing and others that would be nice to see the industry adopting. 

Below I’ve detailed five trends I feel will be prevalent in 2023 and beyond across the region and perhaps even the globe as we all learn to navigate this morphing PR and Communications industry. 

Simplified Brand Messaging

Attention spans aren’t what they used to be (we can all thank TikTok for that!) and with that, convoluted messaging and brand propositions are outdated too. Like most trends, we see them circle back around and right now we’re in a phase of keeping things simple and clear for our audiences. Consumers, media and influencers are switched on; they are aware of the industries we play in, and the ruses used. Rather than trying to pull the wool over their eyes, all we have to do is listen to what they’re telling us.

Human Centricity

I find some humorous irony in the fact that we talk about human centricity as if we aren’t the species itself. The phrase is used constantly but never comes to fruition. We are here because of our customers; they should remain our top priority.

Their desires, their dreams, their lives: how do we make their day-to-day easier, more convenient and help them achieve what they wanted to before they rest their heads after a weary day. In some ways, our lives are easier than ever and in others, they pose different challenges that are nuanced to specific people, markets and regions. It is our duty to understand them, treating our customers as people first and foremost, not just consumers of our products. 

Shifting Attention to Authentic Influencers

With embracing empathy and human centricity comes the evitable task of relooking at your roster of influencers, making sure they fit your brand, authentically. This is a harder task than it was, say a decade ago, but it is still very much doable. 

For each brand it can look very different: is it moving past the macro influencer who is peddling a different product every week for a group of micros who offer a community for your industry, inciting conversation and ensuring brand awareness to a niche but perfectly identified target audience. For others, it may be partnering with a macro who is a genuine fan, normally a perfect tactic for luxury brands.

Shifting Roles for Journalists Means More Tailored Pitches

We can’t forget the bread and butter of our industry, journalists. With roles diversifying over the years encompassing more and more (print, online and social media as the minimum) in the evolving landscape, every moment is precious for our media kin. 

Taking those extra five minutes researching, understanding where your client could be placed and what the best possible angle is can be the difference between securing your client the feature or their dreams or… crickets.

I know we’ll be in moments with clients where we have to adopt the spray and pray method of mass press release distribution, or we’ll be out-featured by a competitor with double the budget of media spend but you’d be surprised how a tailored pitch can cut through the noise at times and make you stand out.

Using Data and in-Depth Analysis to Craft Better PR Strategies

The above is all good and well but without really understanding who you’re targeting and what they want to see, you’re just treading water without any real direction or destination. 

Data and analysis are your best friend in a landscape that is transforming daily. To keep your finger on the pulse you need to understand what is keeping the heart beating. 

In this region we are often pigeonholed into accepting data and statistics from a global perspective, however we are a collective of countries with unique insights and data, each impacting respective markets in their own way that could make or break a PR campaign. Before investing hundreds of thousands into a robust PR strategy, take the time to understand the distinctions of each market, it will serve you better in the long run.