10 Important 2023 PR Trends All Comms Pros Need to Start PrioritizingAug 29, 2022
PR is constantly changing — it’s why PR pros work so hard at being adaptable! And staying on top of PR trends is the best way to know what’s happening in the industry and how you can adapt. And even though it’s still 2022, you need to start prioritizing these 10 2023 PR trends now.
Why Is It Important to Stay On Top of 2023 PR Trends?
Staying on top of PR trends is always important, year after year. You can’t deliver impressive results to your clients if you have no idea what’s going on in PR and are just grasping at straws! If you want to create impeccable PR strategies, you need to know what’s working in the media.
Part of your role as a PR pro is to steer your clients in the right direction, both with your PR strategy and your marketing recommendations. When you keep your finger on the pulse of PR, what’s out-of-date, what’s up-and-coming, and what’s hot right now will always be in the back of your mind. Knowing the biggest 2023 PR trends will help you make informed, effective decisions for your clients.
10 2023 PR Trends You Need to Prioritize
The work you do now will set you, your agency, and your clients up for success in 2023 and beyond. It’s time to take action and start building your press plans for next year! Here are 10 of the most prevalent 2023 PR trends that will shake up the industry.
#1: Simplified Brand Messaging Will Resonate More
Attention spans aren’t as long as they used to be (thanks, TikTok!), and lengthy copy just doesn’t work anymore. People want to read short and punchy brand stories — so you’ve got to simplify your clients’ brand messaging to keep up.
Keep things concise, but don’t skimp on value. You may only have a few sentences to get your point across, so you need to dive right in. No extra fluff necessary: get to the root of why your client is so important and make that your focus.
Plus, a shorter message translates to social media better than a lengthy one. You can carry it out across multiple platforms to reach your client’s target audience no matter where they are. And this goes for your pitches, too: a short, attention-grabbing subject line is best (our training inside The Pitch Lab on crafting subject lines is killer!), along with images and videos that quickly convey your client’s message.
#2: Artificial Intelligence and Technology Are Changing the Game
Artificial intelligence (AI) is about to make its way into your event calendar and your workflow. The tech is still pretty new, but brands are already taking advantage of AI’s endless possibilities…and so should your agency! You can use AI software to automate your most tedious tasks, proofread your pitches, and monitor audience sentiment on your latest campaigns.
You can work with your clients to bring exciting new tech to their marketing, too. Tons of brands are jumping over to AI, especially with virtual reality and the metaverse taking up more and more space in the media landscape. Virtual events, experiences, and even shopping opportunities will start launching next year — if your client wants to add these to their brand profile, start working on your strategy now!
#3: Focus on Mission- and Value-Based Storytelling
2020 was a tumultuous year that became a turning point for a lot of brands. Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) took priority worldwide, and company after company has increased its commitment to DE&I in the years since.
This 2023 PR trend will maintain the new status quo: the focus will be on mission- and value-based storytelling for all brands. People want to support brands that align with their values! But they need to see those values in action first: it’s about actually walking the walk, being accountable, and highlighting your client’s follow-through.
When crafting pitches and strategizing press plans, put socially-aware storytelling at the top of your priorities. You need to communicate the value of your client’s products and their behind-the-scenes actions, whether that’s sustainability, philanthropy, or social justice initiatives.
#4: Flexibility Is More Important Than Ever
I mean, flexibility is nothing new to PR pros. Our entire job revolves around being adaptable when we’re hit with a curveball! And with all the 2023 PR trends coming our way, we’ll have to work on thinking ahead with our pitches, too.
You need to be ready and able to pivot and completely overhaul your strategy at a moment’s notice. You’ll have to outline Plan B (and maybe Plan C and D) before Plan A is even in motion. Maybe that looks like prepping multiple pitch angles in advance, brainstorming different strategies with your team, or keeping an eye on developing news that may impact your clients.
No matter how you build your backup plans, your goal should always be to put your client’s best foot forward in your pitches. We compile all the latest editorial calendars in our Monthly Execution Plans inside The Pitch Lab so you can craft targeted pitches for your clients.
#5: Empathy, Empathy, Empathy
Knowing what’s trending in your niche is key to being a true expert and PR pro. But in 2023, you’ll have to get plugged into global news and events, too.
Empathy is everything to today’s consumers. And to keep up with this 2023 PR trend, you’ll need to make sure all communications, copy, and pitch angles are socially-aware and take the state of the world into account. No one wants to support a brand that carries on as usual in a crisis, even if it’s happening on the other side of the globe.
Think beyond what’s directly impacting your client’s target audience and shift your focus to the global community at large. Be mindful of all global news, whether positive or negative. A single poorly-timed social post can cause a (totally avoidable) PR crisis.
#6: Pitch Exclusives, Not Stories Under Embargo
We’re all living our lives online, and magazines and newspapers are switching to digital subscriptions en masse to join us. Unlike some of the other major 2023 PR trends, this one will completely change how PR pros pitch their clients’ news.
Editors and journalists don’t want to write stories under embargo anymore — now, it’s all about the exclusive. They want to deliver premium content to their paying subscribers. An exclusive has way more value than a story that’ll be in a dozen other outlets the day the embargo is lifted.
When an editor has an exclusive, they can spend more time and resources fleshing out a rich, detailed narrative for their readers. They’ll be the go-to source for other journalists and deliver quality reporting that can convert new subscribers…and you’ll get an amazing feature out of it! Plus, exclusives are great tools for building new, mutually beneficial media relationships that will land you key coverage in the future.
#7: In-Person Events Are Back
The world is starting to open back up, and one of the most exciting 2023 PR trends is the return of live, in-person events! You can leverage experiences like networking events, pop-ups, and industry conferences to get the word out about your clients and your agency. The possibilities are endless!
Work with your clients to re-incorporate in-person events into their launch plans. But keep in mind that some consumers aren’t quite ready to return to IRL experiences. You can start with small events or go hybrid with a virtual component to reach people at home, then scale as you go.
#8: Shifting Roles for Journalists Means More Tailored Pitches From You
Journalists did not sit the Great Resignation out — many writers and editors are leaving their newsroom jobs for freelance positions (or total career pivots) and those who stay have to pick up the slack with new beats and overtime hours. Plus, their stories have to generate revenue for the publication on top of being compelling, engaging, and credible. They’re juggling a lot!
Now more than ever, it’s essential to treat journalists with respect and empathy, whether you’re meeting them for a chat over coffee or pitching a story. Show that you know what’s going on in their industry by sending relevant pitches only, keeping your communications specific and targeted, and including captioned and credited multimedia in your emails.
Your pitches should be tailored to the publication and the journalist you’re pitching. That requires sharp pitch-writing skills (and a solid knowledge of the biggest 2023 PR trends). To keep your pitching skills in check, join The Pitch Lab to get all the lessons, resources, and masterclasses you need to become a Pitching Powerhouse.
#9: It’s All About Media Research and Media Relationships
A media list is your guide to all the contacts you need to land epic press features, boost your media outreach, and build connections with editors and journalists. But building your media list takes a lot of research…like, hours and hours of it! But it’s more than worth it in the long run.
You should include contacts who will find your clients’ content and products engaging, exciting, and relevant to their usual coverage. To start, go through publications in your niche to see who has already covered what, then do it all over again to spot any connections you missed. And don’t forget to leverage social media! Follow journalists to keep up with their stories and find any rookie editors who enter your niche.
Once you’ve got your contacts, you need to prioritize those relationships. Engage with them on social media to nurture your connections and be the best partner you can be. Don’t crowd their inbox, take forever to respond, or send irrelevant or inaccurate information. Send them a fresh, relevant pitch angle and trust them to do their jobs from there.
#10: Get Into Affiliate Marketing ASAP!
Last up on our list of 2023 PR trends is the biggest, most important one of all: affiliate marketing! If you have product-based clients, affiliate marketing will be absolutely crucial in 2023 and beyond. You need to get them into affiliate programs (like Amazon, Walmart, or Target) ASAP.
You already know that journalists need to generate revenue with all of their stories. Affiliate marketing plays a HUGE role in this! Editors are becoming less and less willing to showcase products that don’t have affiliate revenue potential — not being on affiliate platforms can jeopardize your clients’ future press success.
Plus, affiliate marketing shows you exactly where sales and traffic are coming from (and can help clients understand your value). Sales aren’t the goal of PR, of course, but you can use that data to shift your focus to the most influential social media platforms or affiliate programs. We have an amazing masterclass inside The Pitch Lab that goes in-depth into affiliate marketing and how to help your clients stay ahead of the affiliate game.
Tons of changes to the media landscape are right around the corner, but these 10 2023 PR trends will shape the way PR pros get results for their clients year-round. Use this knowledge now to start strategizing and building killer press plans for next year!