Navigating the dynamic landscape: TOP-10 PR trends for 2024
FOCUX GROUP
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What changes will we see as we move through the dynamic PR landscape of 2024? Who will take the leading positions by the end of the year, and who will struggle to catch up? What are the top ten areas for a successful public relations specialist to bet on? Serge Smirnoff, managing director of the digital PR agency, talks about the main trends in public relations in 2024. Spoiler: it’s not just about AI and social networks
In an ever-changing world, and not just the world of public relations, keeping up one’s leadership is critical to success. As we enter 2024, the Public Relations landscape continues to experience transformational changes driven primarily by three main factors:

1. Technological advances
2. Changes in consumer behavior
3. Social trends

Let's take a look at the major trends that will shape the world of public relations and promo activities in 2024.
1. Decision making based on data analytics
In 2024, in PR, the same as in marketing, data rules the rust: the one who has the information wins. Professionals in this field will increasingly use advanced analytical tools to extract valuable data. This allows them to make informed decisions and tailor their strategies to specific audiences in the shortest possible time. The combination of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning allows PR professionals to analyze vast amounts of data, helping them understand trends, sentiment and preferences of the audience with unprecedented accuracy and speed.
Among the data analytics systems used by PR professionals that will continue to improve in 2024, we can predict the development of platforms for monitoring mentions, auditing websites and social networks, collecting physical metrics based on computer vision, and many others.
2. New boost from AI
We have already mentioned that Artificial Intelligence will facilitate faster development of data analytics tools. However, there is one specific potential that PR specialists have already noted in the past year and will take full advantage of in 2024. These are AI-based tools for generating and processing contentI. Quick search for information and even online consultations, instant text processing (stylization, reduction, extracting the main points, etc.), generating and searching for insights for media content, tools for voice-over and video translation - all this allows PR specialists and their colleagues to significantly improve their work efficiency.

ChatGPT, Midjourney and their successors have made so much noise over the past few months that we’ve stopped noticing and monitoring other projects emerging in the field of public AI solutions. This dynamic will only accelerate, there will be even more new tools, and already known solutions will only get better. All this will contribute to increased attention of PR specialists to these special tools.

Obviously, AI is not a magic wand that will solve all of humanity’s problems. But in the capable professional hands, this is a very powerful weapon that allows quickly and skillfully outspread influence.
3. Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR)
The growing power of VR and AR is driving the evolution of PR campaigns. Brands are increasingly incorporating virtual and augmented reality into their communications, allowing audiences to connect with products or services in a more interactive and distinctive way.
This trend not only increases brand awareness, but also creates a deeper emotional (and therefore long-lasting) connection with consumers. Metaverses from the IT industry leaders, as well as local solutions, will increasingly become part of the lives of the target PR audiences.
4. Voice technology integration
In 2024, we’ll see voice-activated devices, smart speakers, and Internet of Things (IoT) devices become mainstream and influence how PR professionals approach communications strategies. We can expect content optimization tools for voice search and the development of promo campaigns that are friendly to virtual assistants.

And although now it may seem not so effective and economically feasible, such strategies are necessary to maintain the presence of a brand in a modern and dynamically developing landscape.
5. The growing influence of instant messengers
In times of information turbulence, when many popular media may be censored or even blocked in certain regions, the influence of messengers is increasing. The audience of “undesirable” or prohibited media no longer switches to publications “recommended” by regulators, but finds the previous information feed through news channels in instant messengers.

In addition to the fact that the audiences gets used to this format of information consumption, they also understands that it is convenient, all news are accumulated in one app, the agenda can be studied in a matter of minutes, and new information is delivered many times faster than in traditional media due to the absence of strict censorship and editing rules.
Given these trends, PR professionals can’t ignore working with instant messengers. Creating their own channels of communication with consumers and target audiences, native publications and their circulation, direct influence on public opinion and perception of brands - all these are just some of the reasons why PR specialists will turn to influential channels in messengers.
6. Negative PR
One can certainly agree with the well-known saying “negative PR is still PR”, but only on one point: technologies and strategies for its implementation fit precisely into the plane of PR activities, but only from the opposite, negative side. This point is inextricably linked with the previous one. And, unfortunately (for some, not), this will also be one of the trends of 2024.

Negative PR is a communication strategy aimed at spreading negative information about an individual, company, product or service in order to influence their reputation. The purpose of negative PR may be to undermine the credibility of the target of a negative campaign, reduce sales, or create public pressure.

This method is unethical and may involve various techniques such as spreading false information, manipulating public opinion, creating fake reviews, and other forms of disinformation. Negative PR often contradicts the principles of fair competition, but it is still PR that entire teams of professionals work on.
It is important to distinguish constructive criticism from negative PR. Criticism can be fair and factual, while negative PR uses misinformation and manipulation to damage the target's reputation. In the era of informational, social and political turbulence, this is one of the few tools that can become a game changer for someone in unequal conditions, so, obviously, its role will increase over time.
7. Crisis management in the digital age
Why is anti-crisis online PR a clear trend for 2024? That's right, this also follows from the previous point. The growth of social networks has increased the speed of crises, both natural and man-made using negative PR techniques. The tactics of brands flirting with social and even environmental initiatives do not reduce risks: Prada, Zara, Louis Vuitton and a number of other brands from different industries experienced this first-hand in 2023.

We are living in extraordinary times, so in 2024, PR professionals will focus on proactive crisis management strategies, using social monitoring tools to identify potential problems before they escalate.

Real-time response and transparency are key as brands face the challenges of the digital age on a battlefield where information travels quickly and the "make or break" of a reputation can happen in an instant.

However, in addition to resolving reputational crises, it will be extremely important to get to the primary sources that expose the very nature of the crises. In an era when information can originate and begin to spread through anonymous channels on social networks and instant messengers, getting to the bottom of the truth has become much more difficult. Ignoring the nature of modern crises can only clear the smoke, but not extinguish the flame.
8. The evolution of influencer marketing
In 2024, the influencer landscape will become more mature. Authenticity and transparency are now at the forefront, and consumers are more discerning than ever. Successful PR strategies include establishing long-term relationships with influencers that align with the brand's values and resonate with its target audience.

Additionally, due to their narrow areas of focus, micro-influencers (or niche bloggers) will continue to gain popularity. They have a profound impact on limited but dedicated communities, providing deeper engagement with consumers. They will be able to offer their audiences more authentic ways to deliver information, and brands will be able to gain new ways to interact with the public.
9. The value of employees as brand advocates
In 2024, employees will become powerful brand advocates. Companies are increasingly recognizing the value of internal communications and, seeing the results, are actively engaging employees in PR activities. Authentic stories from inside an organization connect well with the audience, building trust and enhancing the overall brand image.

Additionally, over the next year, more companies will develop strategies to promote a positive internal culture, which will naturally lead to external advocacy. We have already seen all this before, but from a different angle, such as corporate blogs, social networks, etc. However, now the emphasis will increasingly shift from the “corporate” (product/brand, executive directors and their expertise, etc.) to the “private” (ordinary employees, the individuals who directly create the product).
10. Taking conscious actions
Today's consumers expect brands to have a purpose beyond profit. In 2024, successful PR campaigns will focus on social and environmental responsibility. We will see brands championing the interests of their target audience, demonstrating a commitment to positive change. Conscious brand campaigns not only create loyalty, but also resonate with consumers' conscious values, positively impacting society and the world at large.

Companies will actively integrate environmental initiatives into their communications, demonstrating responsible environmental behavior and attracting environmentally conscious audiences. Supporting social movements and activism has also already become an integral part of the PR concept. Brands advocate for social change, support activist initiatives, and create campaigns to bring about positive changes in society. Our ever-eventful world will force PR professionals to take a more attentive and careful approach to social and public problems, to move away from stereotypical and risky solutions, and this is what true professionals are all about.
Conclusion:
As we move through the dynamic PR landscape of 2024, we will see the convergence of technology, data and innovative, authentic communications come to the fore. Those who can not only recognize these trends, but also skillfully adjust their activities, will take the most advantageous positions in their market by the end of the year.

Successful PR professionals will be those who embrace change, adapt to new trends, and continue to strengthen meaningful connections between brands and their audiences. The key to success lies in the strategic combination of innovation, knowledge based on data analytics and a commitment to meaningful and transparent communication. Study the trends, invest in self-training and in the tools you use, believe in yourself and your projects, and good results will follow.
Tell us about your project and ideas today, and we will figure out how to implement them to your benefit tomorrow!
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