PR Trends to Watch for 2022

As we look ahead to 2022, we have big ideas about what the new year will hold for public relations! With these crystal ball predictions, our team shares what we expect to see in the year ahead. We all share a passion for PR, but each brings our own unique flare to our work – which you will see in our predictions.

Learn more from Peter, Lori, Emily, Eliza, Sarah, Rebekah, Julia, Olivia, and Elisabeth and check back at the end of the year to see which predictions became reality! 

Peter Stanton, Founder and CEO

In the coming year, the emphasis for all firms to have a global capability will increase. The trend will be away from the acquisition model and more toward strategic partnerships, joint ventures and networks. Networks such as PR World Alliance and thenetworkone are expanding as independent firms pursue relationship building and an enhanced capacity to serve clients beyond a single geography. Such networks are doing more than just adding members. They are adding value through professional development, knowledge sharing, robust informational programs and competitions and meetings that continued occur virtually in spite of all pandemic travel restrictions. These networks proved the world did not close. Nor will it in the coming year. 

Lori Russo, President

Even with the economic and social burdens of the H1N1 pandemic in our not-too-distant past, many companies failed to include a massive public health catastrophe in their list of potential crises that might impact their business and their people. COVID-19 was a painful wake-up call that challenged organizations to rethink their process for crisis planning. Entering 2022 with a new understanding that the crisis you don’t plan for is the crisis that can cause the greatest impact on your business, companies will turn to expert crisis communication counsel to determine how decisions will be made under duress and how best to interact with internal and external stakeholders with a principled and well-structured crisis core team approach.” 

Emily Wenstrom, Vice President

“Looking to the year ahead, I expect an organization’s internal core values to continue to become increasingly crucial to their strategy, audience relations and reputation management. As our world becomes more technologically driven, we will have increased need to be more human in our communications, including mass communication. 

Eliza Levy, Senior Account Manager

“Artificial intelligence and machine learning will move past analytics with new platforms designed to optimize social. media, develop hyper-targeted media lists, streamline routine client interactions and build engaged audiences.” 

Sarah Orzach, Account Manager

As we look to 2022, I predict there will be a greater commitment to acknowledging diversity, equity and inclusion in PR efforts across the board. From a greater push toward utilizing BIPOC influencers in influencer relation campaigns, to targeting a wider range of media outlets that reach various niche audiences that have gone underserved in the past, there will be an ongoing effort to bring inclusivity to the industry. With so many news outlets curating stories for specific audiences, it is in the best interest of PR professionals to take advantage of these outlets that directly serve various target audiences. 2022 will also bring a commitment to curating external messaging in a way that speaks to all sorts of audiences, rather than umbrella messaging that lacks personalization. 

Rebekah Eskandani, Senior Account Executive

The public relations industry cannot rely on the same communications strategies and tactics that were employed in pre pandemic times. Before our eyes, society is transforming, and the consumer is changing. In 2022, we will see PR professionals become more experimental with content development as they reevaluate audience segmentations for this moment in time and explore how to better resonate with them.  

Julia Telford, Assistant Account Executive

Thought leadership is a public relations tactic that PR professionals use to build credibility, and it is a title that is earned, not given. As stewards of public relations, it is our job to cultivate thought-provoking content and have the skills to back it up. In 2022, public relations agencies will focus on positioning themselves as ‘thought leaders’ so that clients see them as credible sources. Agencies will continue to engage in thought leadership opportunities and create tangible success for the industry.” 

Elisabeth Bellevue, Assistant Account Executive

In 2022, I predict that more people will become interested in public relations. The industry itself will grow as more influencers are discovered. Influencer culture will also promote more PR needs. 

Olivia Melvin, Account Coordinator

“The focus on healthcare messaging will continue to grow as we enter the third year of the pandemic. Health systems will seek more assistance from communication professionals in the development of their messages to the public to ensure clear understanding and reduce the spread of misinformation. An emphasis on plain language is vital to this effort and there will be stronger guidance from many sectors for PR professionals to increase their use of plain language in all written communication.”  

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