Everyone is sitting on the edge of their seats wondering what’s next… not just in business, but in the world.
I gotta be honest, my year has not started great. Just halfway through this FIRST month, I landed in urgent care with a fractured ankle. OMG! Please do not make this the theme of the year.
That aside, let’s talk about the good stuff… the easy stuff… what’s coming for PR in 2023.
One fun announcement I would like to share is that we are going forward as Olive Public Relations and this is largely driven by what I think is coming.
Over the last couple of years, we learned something really important: PR is valuable and when it is done thoughtfully, strategically, and creatively, PR WORKS.
I decided that Olive Creative Strategies, while lovely and totally reflective of the last five years, no longer fits. We have decided to narrow our focus to PR. Many of you never stopped calling us Olive PR, so it is fitting. I won’t get into all the details here but trust me when I say it will be better for my business and I hope it’s easier for people to find us, because at Olive, PR WORKS.
Let’s get back to why the narrowed in focus on public relations. The real reason is that with the advancement of technology and all the changes in the world, your messaging has become more important than ever. How you conduct your corporate social responsibility campaign can either support you in sharing your values or cost you your reputation. Consumers are not interested in your wordplay and want to see real life action. That means you can’t just wear pink shirts, you need to put your money and action where your mouth is. Relationships with your staff are more critical than ever and your relationships with your target audiences are required to be transparent and authentic… YES! This means your messaging needs to be authentic and how you tell your story is critical. No response is a response, so everything you do needs to be on point. And, if you want to be successful, it’s more than your messaging, it’s the authentic actions you are illuminating that are really important.
This isn’t scary, this is awesome! Just be awesome. Stay in front of your messaging and have a plan. A plan is the key.
With this being said, here are my 2023 predictions for our industry and how it’s going to look this year:
- SEO is going to make a big comeback. Some people might argue it never left, but with more people wanting to diversify away from social media because of the unpredictable algorithms, your ranking is going to be essential. Want to know one of the best ways to improve SEO? Strong links from legitimate media coverage.
- Robust content will be king. If you want to enjoy the benefits of that SEO, you will need to have strong content on your website. My SEO unicorn Jenny Foster says we have to have 1,000-word blogs to make the cut… that kind of writing is not for novices… we can help you with that.
- Events and activations are back big time and bigger than ever. We all need a virtual world detox, so you and your brands are going to have to create real life, get out of behind your phone, come together, look each other in the eye kinds of events and activations. Don’t stress if this isn’t your game… we can help you. We aren’t event planners at Olive, but we can help you come up with a truly unforgettable concept, bring all the right players to the table and then promote the heck out of it to ensure all of your investments are maximized. Whether it’s media coverage with links for SEO, powerful social media content, or just bringing joy to the neighborhood, we love that this is back.
- Media coverage is changing in POWERFUL ways. There are so many new ways to reach your audience – that can be good and bad. The truth is that audiences are sliced and diced in so many ways, but when you are reaching your audience, it is truly targeted. Additionally, those big hits… they still work. I’m talking the real big guys like the Today Show, Vogue, etc. Maybe even more powerful than ever.
- The newswire is out. Don’t let anyone fool you, the newswire is obsolete in the world of PR. If you are releasing a product and want to flood the internet with temporary links, it might help you there, but journalists not use the wire for stories. They also have access to ever-changing trends on social media and relationships with PR people who are emailing them directly.
- Podcasts will continue to be on the rise, but I think the cream of the crop will rise to the top and the others will probably be more like a blog where you communicate to your existing fan club. If you want to breakout of that level, you really need to step up your game. Want to know what that looks like? Watch every move Mel Robbins makes. She is on fire. In fact, don’t just follow her for her podcast, read her books, follow her on social and subscribe to all the things… she will change your life.
- Strategy is essential. So many people focus on tactics. They do media relations because they know they should. They do social media because why not. They have a monthly newsletter and the website and all the things, but they aren’t setting a foundation with a guideline to ensure they integrate and really shine. We need fewer silos and more integrated plans. We need a plan for day to day. We need a plan for when opportunity comes shining in and we ABSOLUTELY need a plan for crisis. Things aren’t what they used to be — if you want success, you need a strategy.
- Be great… we live in a transparent world. As 2023 continues, you need to be great or get out. People want quality products and services, and they want to work with good people. Technology equals transparency. There’s no way to pull a fast one these days. Just plan to be great.
- Influencers are here to stay, at least for now. What is more important than ever is to make sure you are really clear about what you are trying to achieve and set realistic expectations. There are very few times when influencer partnerships will happen without a budget in mind. You can consider it as part of your social media budget, but if you want to be successful, you should plan on paying. No brand wants to be accused of taking advantage of an entrepreneur… it looks bad. You can still invite influencers to a complimentary media night, but always make sure you are very clear about expectations. We are in the age of respecting everyone’s worth and that’s a great thing.
- Lastly, and probably my least favorite, pay to play affiliate links are here to stay, so have a plan to incorporate that if you really want to have a chance at national media for your consumer brand.
There are so many more things, but I will leave you with this: No matter what happens with our economy, there will be thrivers. We can help each other rise together. The economy depends on us supporting one another by continuing to live our lives. Yes, there might be some things going against us, but we can choose to be thrivers. At the very least, we can be planners and we can strategize the best, most rock-solid marketing and public relations plans we have ever had to rise above the rest. Be the shining star. I always say, you owe it to people to get this part right, so they can find you.
Happy New Year!