1. Grassroots Campaigns It’s 2014, where we have access to almost everything and everyone. Unlimited data plans, music streaming services, direct lines of communication with celebrities and more. I’m pretty sure that the possibilities really are endless. Because of this communication, users want to feel like they “own” product. Grassroots campaigns, like crowd funding, have taken off with flying colors. Fans and consumers feel more connected to a brand when they participate in the foundational process. Because of this, they take to the streets to talk about their new favorite artist or product and word of mouth promotion quickly spreads. Grassroots promotions have always existed. The only difference is that right now, it’s trendier than ever because the public wants to feel a sense of ownership. Consumers want to feel important in the marketing process. They want items for free so they can blog about them, Instagram them and write viral posts about them. So we might as well jump on the bandwagon and give them the tools they need to do so.
2. Storytelling Right now, our world is full of stories. With the exponential growth of Brandon Stanton’s “Humans of New York” blog, we’ve all realized the potential that stories have to connect on an emotional and personal level. Think about 5 Hour Energy’s “2:30 Horror” video. It won an award for “most shared” at the 2014 Viral Video Awards. It’s fiction, but it’s a story that consumers can comically identify with. According to Leo Widrich of Buffer, storytelling actually activates more areas of our brain than traditional fact consumption. Storytelling has always been an integral part of public relations – but right now, there are more stories to compete with and no better time to increase those skills.
3. Charity Partnerships As a PR practitioner, you know how important it is to position your client as credible and reputable. What better way to do this, than by partnering with a charity? We’re living in an age where Millennials are forging ahead on the social justice front. Whether it’s bringing down the LRA in the Congo (Invisible Children) or only purchasing eyewear that provides a pair for a child in need (Warby Parker), they’re that much more willing to endorse your client if they are embracing the idea of corporate social responsibility. In fact, four out of five Millennials said they are most likely to purchase from a company that supports a good cause, according to a 2011 study.
Have you noticed any upcoming trends within the public relations industry? If so, comment below and share them with us.
Rebecca graduated from Rowan’s PR department in 2011, where she was PRSSA VP of Ethics and Advocacy. She left New Jersey and journeyed to Nashville, Tennessee to start her career in both the nonprofit and music industries. She worked as the Media Manager at Soles4Souls, Inc. for three years and recently transitioned to Content Strategy Manager at Nashville Rescue Mission. In addition, she is a freelance music journalist and publicist.