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2018 will be about disruptions in PR

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In the past few years, owing to the extensive tech advancements, the way we communicate has undergone several deep-rooted disruptions. Businesses, driven by their perpetual pursuit to evolve with the ever-changing consumer trends, have adopted are more nimble and tech-driven approach for connecting and engaging with their different stakeholders, including the consumers. Hence, it was only a matter of time before these paradigm shifts and technological advancements would seep into the dynamic and fast-evolving world of public relations.

In this age of digitalization, PR firms need to cover different plausible avenues available for the end users to consume information. Given the number of newly sprouting social media platforms, blogs, peer and mobile journalism, and more, communication professionals have a wide gamut of platforms that they may target to reach out to the intended audience. Here are a few ways in which the latest tech disruption will disrupt the glitzy world of PR in 2018.

Social Media and MOJO to call the shots
Social media and MOJO (mobile journalism) have had a tremendous effect on public relations. PR professionals across different verticals need to keep pace with the growing social network, in order to get the right message across to the target audience.
Furthermore, social media has also emerged as a platform for sharing consumer grievances, with a number of consumers sharing reviews and ratings, to put forth their views and opinions. PR professionals would need to show similar promptness in following and managing social media posts that may possibly tarnish the brand image.
Besides, with smartphones becoming easily affordable and internet data affordable, there has been a rise of mobile journalism. As a consequence, MoPR (Mobile PR) will soon follow suit. In the upcoming times, PR professionals will have to function in real-time, with deadlines condensing to just enough time for one to blink.

The Big Data & AI Revolution
While big data analytics and automation provided by artificial intelligence have emerged to be the latest buzzwords in the industry, the same will play a pivotal role in disrupting the current state of public relations.
The best PR campaigns are data driven, beginning and ending with key industry research and insights. This year, we are going to witness big data analytics and research becoming an integral and inseparable part of the PR mandate. Different PR firms of varying scale will be actively pursuing data analytics, in order to come up with PR campaigns and strategies that are faultless, contextual, and smart.
At the same time, with artificial intelligence and machine learning making significant inroads in our everyday lives, the same is set to be widely adopted by the PR companies as well. At the heart of adopting this tech disruption would be governed by the ultimate intention of automating the monotonous and using the talented creative minds on adding significant value to the mandate.

Cybersecurity to Gain Prominence
The age of digitalization has exposed the communication companies of today to yet another crisis of impending cyber-attacks. From email hacking to data breaches and technological chaos, PR firms will soon have to mitigate these challenges. As the world grows more sensitive and aware of the digital security breaches, PR firms will also be coming up with contingency plans to safeguard the interests of the agency and maintain the sanctity of confidential data shared by the clients.

While these are the key predictions on how technology will shape up the world of PR, only time will reveal the true extent and magnitude of the transformations. As best practice, PR professionals need to not only keep an eye out for these overhauls but also extend their skill sets, in order to encompass these latest advancements.

Mr. Gaurav Patra- Ex-technology journalist, PR consultant and Founder of Value 360 Communications

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Gaurav Patra

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