11 2024 PR Trends You Need to Start Preparing For NowAug 28, 2023
The media landscape is constantly shifting, so PR pros need to keep their finger on the pulse of the industry to keep up! Staying up to date with trends and industry innovations is the key to creating smart strategies and delivering consistent, impressive results to your clients. You can’t grow and scale a successful agency next year if you’re always playing catch-up with 2024 PR trends!
11 Top 2024 PR Trends You Need to Know About ASAP!
Part of your role as a service provider is to steer your clients in the right direction, both with your PR strategy and your holistic approach to marketing and media. To do that, you need to know what’s up-and-coming, what’s totally out-of-date, and what’s hot right now. Let’s dive into the top 11 2024 PR trends you’ve got to know to knock it out of the park next year!
#1: AI Is a Must…But Only When Used Ethically
AI has already had negative effects on the media landscape, but unfortunately, it’s not going anywhere in 2024. As a PR pro, you have to leverage this disruptive tech ethically and responsibly.
AI-powered tools can help you streamline your processes: from proofreading and media monitoring to content creation and pitching research, AI can do it all! But tools like ChatGPT and Bard scope the entire internet when generating their responses…so you can end up with a plagiarized or totally inaccurate result and be none the wiser. Everything you get from AI needs to be fact-checked and heavily edited before it ever makes its way to your clients.
AI programs are robots — they don’t have the niche expertise, industry skills, storytelling ability, and emotional intelligence you do. This 2024 PR trend will never replace you as a PR pro, but you can use AI as a tool to improve your agency and your skills.
#2: Data-Driven Storytelling Will Be One of the Biggest 2024 PR Trends
PR is all about striking an emotional chord with audiences, but next year, media players will look for cold, hard data to back up your pitches. Having clear statistics and trend data that are relevant to your contact’s audience is a must. You can get this data from your client’s own brand studies or major industry studies that haven’t gotten much media attention.
The most important part of this 2024 PR trend is to build a story from the data. You can’t just throw a bunch of numbers at your media contact and call it a day! Flesh out a comprehensive story that shows how your client provides a solution to the problems laid out by the data.
#3: PR Pros Need to Get Comfortable Leveraging SEO
Out of all the 2024 PR trends, this one might require the biggest adjustment. SEO-driven pitches will be a major part of data-driven storytelling next year! Now is the time to get comfortable using SEO tools like SEMrush, Google Search Console, and KWFinder.
When you leverage SEO in your pitches, you find a key term (related to your client, of course!) that has a high search volume but low search difficulty. Then, search for that term on Google to see your competition. If your only results are low-traffic, obscure websites, you’ve struck gold! Get that pitch underway ASAP.
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#4: A True Commitment to DE&I Is the Key to Winning Audience Support
Value-based storytelling and socially-conscious content have resonated with audiences over the past few years, but this 2024 PR trend is all about commitment. Audiences want to support brands that truly walk the walk when it comes to Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion (DE&I).
This goes beyond a few diverse and inclusive campaigns. Consumers want to see DE&I implemented at every level of a brand’s business before buying, from their C-Suite down to their entry-level employees.
#5: Accuracy & Credibility Will Be More Important Than Ever
Between misinformation and clickbait fake news, accuracy is the #1 concern for media players going into next year. Of all the 2024 PR trends, this is the most important one to nail.
Editors want to deliver factual, accurate information to their readers 100% of the time. As a PR pro, it’s your job to make sure your pitches are free of errors before you send them out. Careful fact-checking and thorough research are your new best friends!
#6: Substack Is the New Place to Connect with Journalists
If you haven’t heard of it yet, Substack is essentially an email marketing platform that journalists use to write newsletters and share their work with their readers. As a PR pro, you likely won’t have your own Substack, but you can use Substack to strengthen your relationships with your existing connections. Referencing a personal story a journalist shared in their newsletter shows that you’re an engaged, supportive media partner, and editors sometimes put out Substack-exclusive calls for last-minute pitches, too!
Substack is great for finding new media contacts as well. As you develop those media relationships, you can land newsletter-exclusive features to get your client in front of targeted, engaged audiences. If you want to really dive into this 2024 PR trend, we’ve got a killer resource featuring all my favorite Substacks in The Pitch Lab!
#7: You Need to Consistently Provide Value to Your Media Contacts in 2024
You already know that you need to be a valuable resource for your media contacts, but journalists will deal with more challenges than ever next year. Your focus for all of the media relations-based 2024 PR trends is to make your contacts’ lives easier at every turn.
Every pitch you send should be accurate, timely, and totally personalized to your contact and their publication. Make sure all the necessary information is in your pitch, including multimedia, additional documents, and in-house expert details. Journalists are working with shorter and shorter timelines, so the further in advance of a launch you can send a pitch, the better!
The more you help your media contacts, the more they’ll see you as a true collaborative partner. Showing them empathy and understanding is the key to strengthening your relationship amidst a hectic media landscape. Offer yourself as an expert and a resource in your niche and don’t just reach out when you need coverage for your clients — your goal is to develop a long-term working partnership that will benefit you both.
#8: One of the Biggest 2024 PR Trends Is the Shift Away from Twitter
Twitter (or X?) is kind of a mess…and the near-constant platform issues have media players jumping ship and switching over to LinkedIn. Next year, journalists will turn to LinkedIn and Instagram Threads to promote their work and share their content with like-minded communities.
Unlike many of our top 2024 PR trends, this will affect your media relationships, your own agency, and your clients’ operations. Businesses are shifting their focus away from Twitter, too, and consumers are spending even more time on short-form video platforms like TikTok and Instagram Reels.
#9: 2024 Is About Showing Clients the True Value of PR…This Time with Data
Explaining the value of PR to clients is always a little tough, but in 2024, clients will want clear and measurable data demonstrating your successes. Like with another 2024 PR trend, data-driven storytelling, it’s all about cold, hard numbers here.
Going forward, companies will want to see the results of your hard work (and their budgets) laid clearly out in front of them. It’s sometimes hard for numbers-driven people to wrap their heads around the social and emotional impact of PR without statistics. When they can draw a clear line between your efforts and upward trends in their data, they’ll better understand your power as a PR pro.
#10: Authenticity & Honesty Are Key
Today’s consumers can spot fake, superficial content from miles away. The best way to establish trust with your client’s audience in 2024 is to display authenticity and honesty at every level.
Your client should have defined brand values that you put at the center of your overarching PR strategy. And make sure everyone on your client’s team sticks to the brand’s values! Contradictory statements from brand spokespeople make audience trust vanish in a snap.
Relatability is a huge part of this 2024 PR trend. Brand founders should feel as open and accessible as influencers! Go for organic short-form videos instead of slick, over-produced content. Podcast interviews that give audiences an unfiltered look inside a brand are always a hit, too!
#11: Dive Into Social Media to Find Short & Sweet Stories
2024 will be all about short & sweet stories, both in text-based content and on video. Look to social media to find burgeoning trends or tiny nuggets of content that you can turn into stellar pitches. Even better: combine it with another one of the biggest 2024 PR trends and scope out socials for LinkedIn-exclusive content ideas.
Journalists are scouring social media for stories just like you are, so use your clients’ pages to showcase their brand and give valuable niche information to the media. Valuable information + fun storytelling = press gold!
Okay, that was a lot…but these 2024 PR trends are absolutely crucial! With these trends in the back of your mind, you can craft complex and effective strategies to help your clients reach their goals. If you want to dive even deeper into next year’s biggest industry trends, grab my 2024 PR Trend report to get the inside scoop.