Looking Ahead: A roundup on the Public Relations and Digital Marketing Industry in India 2018 and #FutureTrends2019

2018 has brought a major shift in the way the Public Relations and Digital Marketing Industry function in India said Sadiya Khan, Founder of Akund Public Relations.

Public Relations is now considered as an essential element for every organization to reach out to the target audience through various communication platforms in the highly competitive industry. To establish credibility in the market and position the brand, PR is looked upon as the keystone for companies, individuals and start-ups. The objective is to put forward a positive image or a perception about an organization, a brand, a product or an individual by using the most effective mediums of communication and media, be it print, electronic or social media.

We all have been using or I can say overusing traditional PR tools like Press Releases, Interviews, Press Statements, etc which now seems to be a little obsolete for Urban India. Public Relations Industry is evolving each day and every now and then there comes a time when we have to forget the traditional PR techniques and figure out innovative ways to communicate our message to the target audience.

The major reason for the ever-evolving PR techniques is that the preferences of the audiences are changing every day.

With the advent of digital media and social media communications, the PR industry has witnessed swift growth over the past few years, it feels like a shape-shifting beast – rapidly moving, a little intimidating too and huge.

Digital and Social Media Marketing in 2018 has been a complete game changer for Public Relations professionals and marketers. The role of Public Relations Agencies has become more vital than ever. A single wrong activity on social media can undo years of efforts taken for building a positive image. The need of the hour for PR agencies is to not only do away with the press invites and releases about the subject matter but also strategize to strengthen the brand image with the help of digital and social media.

The PR industry is dynamic and continuously evolving, it’s no longer all about running events, press releases and brand management. With a good PR strategy, one also need a great digital & social media marketing strategy. 

2018 Highlights

2018 has been all about online content, visual storytelling, influencers, blogging, podcasts, hash tagging, engaging videos, online campaigns, and other digital and electronic content to reach the maximum target audience. Compelling content is being produced which is welcomed with open arms by the audiences. So one thing’s for sure, creative content marketing is here to stay.

We saw digital marketing tools redefining marketing, more and more brands are toying with it to change the way they market their brands and with that, we also experienced talent crunch in the digital and social marketing industry as most professionals are trained for marketing traditionally and not digitally. 

Challenges:

  • As the industry is evolving, it has become more and more complicated and difficult to deal with the talent crunch.
  • Traditional ways of conducting public relations now are the least effective. It’s time to integrate ourselves and organizations with different communication platforms and technologies.
  • Quick responses are needed to the challenges we face. The cultural shift in the PR industry will affect us hugely. To win this battle we need highly creative people and media planners.

Trends 2019

  • The traditional media is still growing, though at a low rate but it is. In the rural India regional media is thriving, but in urban India, like I said the ways of communication have changed immensely.
  • In 2019, we will see more of integrated work with visuals and multimedia.
  • Simple and standard formats of issuing Press Releases will be redefined to make it visually appealing and prominent in the public eye.
  • Becoming ‘Jack of all trades’ is the key to evolve with the dynamic PR industry. Content creation, reputation management, corporate communication, and crises management will need creative skills and focus. Creative designers and planner will enter the circuit.
  • Influencer will be in the limelight. Collaboration with influencers works very well for marketing and reaching out to the target audiences. To target the relevant niche audience, teaming up with the influencer will be the key.
  • Qualitative content will be the king. Captivating content will be created to hook the target audience and communicate to as many people as possible.
  • PR agencies will play a vital role in creating a positive brand image. Long gone are the days when PR use to be a press release machine, which means the more creative one is, the more are the chances to survive the competition.
  • Storytelling, relationship building, social networking and being tech savvy will shape the future of PR Agencies.
  • Artificial Intelligence powered CatBots are here to stay. Personalized communication with the customers to engage them, altogether changes the experience of connecting with them.

The only thing that’s constant is the evolving the Public Relations and Digital Marketing Industry. To be on the top of the game, one needs to change with time and technology to upgrade their tools and techniques of functioning in the industry.

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