At the start of each year, we look ahead to the new things that 2019 will bring. Having discussed it internally, here at Canela, we have drawn up a shortlist about what we believe will be the major new trends in 2019. In our list we have put artificial intelligence, voice and visual searches; the contents customization and the European Directive about Copyright. This new year will also accelerate the transformation of the PR agencies, forcing us to adapt to the new reality in our sector. If you work in marketing or public relations…keep reading, because this stuff concerns you too.
More intelligent PR
Artificial intelligence (AI) is already changing many sectors, such as data centers, customer experience and language learning. Public relations is also subject to its influence and we are beginning to see very interesting advances.
For example, the application of AI to improve the sending of press releases to journalists or the media follow up. But this is just the tip of the iceberg. This year, artificial intelligence will assume sophisticated functions in the world of public relations. For example, search and analyze data to support storytelling; predict social networks trends; or even estimate the potential impact of news.
Although the capabilities of artificial intelligence will be increasingly impressive, you shouldn’t be afraid: AI can’t substitute the creative work of a public relations professional. AI is just another important way of improving the way you do your job.
New ways to search the Internet
This year, it’s very possible that Father Christmas or The Three Kings have given you a smart speaker like Amazon Echo or a new smartphone with Google Lens. These gadgets allow you to do voice or visual searches. You only have to say out loud what you want, or point to an object with the camera of your phone or tablet, and the application takes you to the most relevant page for you. According to Google, 20% of Internet searches from mobile devices are already done through voice, while social networks such as Pinterest are currently recording more than 600 million visual searches per month.
This totally changes the way we search on the Internet. If you don’t appear in the first result that the voice or visual application chooses, you don’t exist. The question is: how can the agencies make sure that the brands we represent appear in that first result? The answer seems clear: creating more relevant, customised content for the user.
Tailored contents for each user
The current boom in content marketing is dangerously close to infoxication, that means the excess of available information to the user. To avoid this, instead of publishing the same content for everyone, we must offer adapted content to each user. This is already done by Google, with its personalized search results, or Facebook, with the publications it shows in our timeline; but soon this will spread to the entire Internet.
The personalized content (or “smart content“) requires the prior collection of information about the interests, preferences and habits of the users. For example, where you access the page from, with what kind of device, what searches you do, what pages you visit … From this data, we can program the site to display a “tailored” content to the user’s profile (for example, a more technical eBook for professionals and a simplified version for consumers). The more we know about user preferences, the more we can customize the content. If we do it correctly, we will increase participation and conversion.
A greater protection for Copyright
If 2018 was the year of the RGPD, 2019 will be marked by other community regulation: the European Directive of Copyright. This legislation establishes new measures, such as compensating press editors for shared news on platforms such as Facebook or Google News; the obligation for social networks to ensure that the content shared by their users does not infringe the copyright; and the ban on popular practices such as creating memes from copyright-protected images.
A priori, this is good news for the companies because it will help them to better protect their brands. But it can also stop content dissemination, which will make more difficult the work of the agencies. The solution will come from agreements between content creators and Internet platforms, to share the revenue generated by shared content.
PR agencies in transformation?
All these changes that are about to come, and those that we have lived in recent years are reflected in the public relations sector. The crisis of the traditional media, the fragmentation of auadiences, the growing weight of social networks, the ever-shifting border between marketing and PR and the huge competition (only in the US there are more than 12,000 PR agencies according to Forbes) are taking the toll on the agencies.
How can we adapt to this new stage? We will be offering new services to clients, such as the creativity and graphic design division, that we launched in Canela PR at the beginning of the year; make more flexible and agile the operational structures (for example, in Canela PR we have moved all our offices to shared work spaces); and reorganize ourselves to provide a more efficient service to the clients. This is why in Canela PR we are going to organize ourselves in specialties (Consumer, B2B and Lifestyle) instead of geographical offices.
This year, without a doubt, we will experience many changes in public relations. And of course, in the Blog Etcétera of Canela PR, we will continue to inform you about these trends and many more.
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