• Laura Merritt

Public Relations in 2022: The Changing Landscape


This is part three of a four part series. Click to read parts one and two.


As media newsrooms shrink and reporters’ workloads expand, PR pros need to establish themselves as valuable resources—the “go-to” sources for journalists. In addition to helping a reporter out, it increases the odds that your news will get covered.


Becoming a valuable resource requires you to be responsive and accurate, and to provide well-written communications. Possessing good writing skills has always been important for PR pros but, these days, it's a true differentiator for whether your pitch gets coverage. With poor writing common now on social media and in blog posts, internal communications and even news articles, it’s more important than ever for PR pros to set the bar for high-quality content.


Artificial Intelligence and the Metaverse

We don’t often consider the role AI can and should play in public relations. 2022 is the year to pay more attention to AI and how it can benefit PR. There are so many tools popping up and they're getting smarter when it comes to media research, writing, media monitoring and even sentiment analysis.


Through machine learning, AI analyzes data to uncover insights, find new patterns and discover relationships in the data. There are tools available that can be integrated with your pitching, for example, to provide insights into what's resonating or not with journalists. You can use that information and apply it to future pitching to improve your success rate.


AI does a great job of generating the data but, to effectively resonate with many executives and audiences, it's the story behind the data that has to be told. And that's where PR pros come in. Ultimately, you can never replace what a human brings to written content.


While many of us have heard about the metaverse, few know what it really means. The metaverse represents a simulated digital environment that uses augmented reality, virtual reality and blockchain (along with other concepts from social media) to create a rich user experience that mimics the real world. Historically, the metaverse was mostly leveraged by the gaming industry. Today, we’re seeing it beginning to seep into public relations and marketing. Although broader adoption of the metaverse by PR is likely a few years into the future, now is a good time to begin educating ourselves. Consider brainstorming ideas on how and if your brand or your organization can use virtual worlds to mutually benefit your audience and your organization.


Integrating PR with Other Functions

Today, we are seeing greater integration of PR with other communications functions. Organizations are tearing down the silos in which the different comms teams exist. It has become clear that, when PR pros collaborate with marketing and other functions, the result is less overlap and greater success. To help ensure collaboration, team leaders should approach each project by asking themselves, “Why are we doing this? Who needs to be involved?” PR impacts nearly every aspect of the organization. We can't behave as an island and expect to effectively measure and show results without thinking about how it plays into the bigger picture.


If a brand wants to move forward, we must make sure that all parts are moving in the same direction.


2021 was a year of change, with more people experiencing burn out and an increased focus on community and they continue to be critical issues in 2022. In our final part of this four-part series, we address these and some things that haven’t changed.


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