Public Relations in 2022: Burnout, Community and Some Things That Haven’t Changed
Public relations and communications pros historically have topped the list of those who are burned out and it has only intensified during COVID. This is likely because they must always be “on” and out in front of the issues. Even if we're not actually doing the speaking, we have to prepare the spokesperson. It’s important for those in PR and comms to be aware of the burnout risks, to take breaks, to ask for help. By taking care of yourself, you are ensuring a healthier you and performing in a way that benefits not only you but also your organization, peers, customers and family.
The Importance of Community
Brands that are not paying attention to community need to start and can do so simply by figuring out where their audience hangs out. If it’s on Twitter, you can start a Twitter chat. LinkedIn and Facebook offer groups. Once you create a chat or group, bring people in who are fans of your brand. Find influencers who are passionate about your products or services. Building a strong community of loyal customers is powerful. A notable example of the power of community involves an ice cream company that had two nearly back-to-back listeria incidences. They had such a strong base of loyal customers that this community immediately came to their defense. As a result, their business was minimally impacted and their reputation virtually unscathed. Their community did not develop on its own. The company built and nurtured it. If you build it, when you need it, they will come.
The Immergence of Environmental, Social and Governance Conscientiousness
Environmental, social and governance (ESG) is an evaluation of an organization’s collective social and environmental conscientiousness. Consumers want to see more of this from brands these days and that means less talk and more action. Diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) is a good example of this shift from people satisfied simply talking about it to a greater demand for actual change. More brands are investing in these initiatives than ever before and, at the same time, trying to figure out how to get it right.
Some Things Haven’t Changed
There are some things that are considered hallmarks of the of the trade. The first involves doing your homework on the journalists with whom you hope to work. This includes reading their work and having a clear understanding of what interests them, how they prefer to be engaged, etc.