PR and communications predictions 2022
As the year comes to a close, many of our clients will be in the media predicting what’s to come next year for their industry. So we’ve once again put the challenge to our team to uncover their crystal balls and look to the future of PR and communications. So read on to find out what we think could (and should) change in the PR game in 2023.
"Make every engagement memorable"
“Does anyone else feel like everyone is incredibly busy and sometimes distracted as a result? Now don’t get me wrong, I love being busy, but not at the expense of productive engagements.
“I don’t quite have the answer now, but as we sometimes spend limited face-to-face time with clients and media influencers, as well as our own team; creative engagement beyond the century-old actions list and work-in-progress document, has to be a continued 2023 priority.
“I’m not saying every call has to be a quiz or creative brainstorm, but finding ways to make every client engagement memorable, alongside driving outstanding business impact from the work we do in partnership with our clients, will be increasingly important.”
"B2B message cut through will be more important than ever in 2023"
“While I hate to focus on the negative, if you thought 2022 was full of financial doom and gloom, according to most commentators, 2023 is likely to be even worse. According to the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), the UK economy is expected to shrink by 0.4% in 2023, and isn’t forecast to recover to its pre-Covid size until the second quarter of 2024.
Despite the financial pressures facing companies, according to the recent LinkedIn global B2B Marketer Sentiment Study, 67% of senior B2B marketers have indicated that brand building remains a priority. If you’re a tech marketer keen to raise brand awareness despite budgetary pressures, my big tip would be to think about the messages you use to help your brand stand out from the crowd.
Journalists are bombarded with commentary from tech vendors, so it’s vital that your spokespeople have something compelling, timely and unique to say. At Babel we regularly run sessions with client spokespeople to refresh messaging and test those messages in mock media interviews. It’s a great way of ensuring that your brand remains relevant and insightful in the eyes of the media, and the best way to ensure your brand rises above the recessionary storm.”
"A personalised PR approach"
Senior Campaign Director
“We often coach our clients that a personalised approach is the most effective way to reach their audience, and for a few of our retail and martech clients, their technology actually serves as an enabler for delivering personalised marketing experiences. But moving forward, I think the emphasis on PR professionals being able to deliver personalisation in every aspect of their work will see renewed importance.
From new business pitches to budgets and campaigns, every step of the client-PR relationship should be personalised. No longer will just sending creds suffice, or putting together a template budget. PR professionals need to listen to their prospects and clients, and create well-thought out, personalised, strategies for achieving companies’ business goals. The PR landscape is competitive, and this is the most effective way to show prospects and clients that you hear them.
Personalisation in this regard is also applicable to media relations. For the most successful media opportunities, PRs need to work on bespoke, personalised pitches. Work on media relationships to find out where journalists’ interests lie, and offer tailored commentary from clients to increase chances for coverage.
Personalisation builds trust and customer loyalty (and ultimately increases the chance of sales) because it puts customers – or in this case, the prospect, the client, or the media – at the centre. Keep away from a one-size-fits approach, and for 2023 prioritise personalisation in PR!”
"Brands can’t be everything everywhere all at once"
Senior Content Manager
“While it’s time to look ahead to next year and predict how 2023 might take shape, it’s also a valuable opportunity to review the year just gone. Allow me the slight tangent, but my favourite film this year was “everything everywhere all at once”, it’s a madcap adventure about a woman’s run-in with the multiverse, where she encounters endless different versions of herself.
That’s often what it feels like for many brands’ PR and marketing strategies – they’re trying to be everything, everywhere for everyone at once. It’s a poor strategy at the best of times (stand for everything and you stand for nothing) but in the context of a coming recession, brands need to improve their focus on what they’re trying to say, to whom they’re talking to, and where they try to spread that message.
In 2023, smart brands will drill down on what they do well and what makes them different and centre their messaging and attention on who and where it can make an impact. While reduced budgets across the industry might mean the sea of sameness is a little smaller next year, the successful brands will be the ones that know who they are, and shout it from the rooftops.”
"A diverse voice is non-negotiable for your business "
Senior Campaign Manager
“Diversity has, fortunately, been high on the business agenda for a number of years, but we’re reaching the stage where merely trying to communicate with a diverse voice is no longer acceptable. It’s time for real change, as I believe that 2023 will mark the start of businesses truly being called out by customers, partners, media and the wider industry for not ensuring diversity within their comms.
This year, we’ve already started to experience journalists refusing to moderate or sit on panels that don’t feature a diverse range of guests, and specifically requesting insights from women when writing features about technology. This is likely to gain momentum next year, with businesses that don’t actively champion female and other diverse voices within their teams (or that choose to lead with tokenism) being called out.
The variety of experience and opinion offered by a diverse range of spokespeople will drive comms programmes next year. This is something we’re passionate about at Babel, having recently hosted our first Women in Tech event for journalists. While women currently make up only 26% of the technology workforce, this number is growing and will be accelerated if we champion those already in the sector as role models for those wishing to pursue a career in tech. ”
"B2B tech companies must invest smarter, not harder "
CEO & Co-Founder
“No one wants to be framing a prediction for the coming year in the gloomy context of a recession, but unfortunately, this is where we are. While B2B tech companies are always looking to prioritise their media relations investments and maximise returns, next year this will be more crucial than ever.
Doing this comes down to smarter research and prioritising media strategies to focus on titles and topics that will make an impact and create genuine traction in the news cycle. For example, since the 21st-century digital economy is significantly influenced by digital search, if a company’s news isn’t ranking highly in search engines, it might as well not exist.
This is why modern B2B tech PR strategies need deeper research before committing investment. At Babel, we rely on our in-house tool, RUMA to deliver this insight and feed the strategies and campaigns of our clients. As we head into what could be a financially tricky year, B2B tech companies must invest smarter, not harder.”
That’s a wrap on our PR & communications predictions for next year. But don’t worry, we’ll be here next week to give you the low-down on our other favourite thing – the technology sector. Join us then as we challenge a different group of Babel experts to look ahead to 2023 and what we might see in the world of tech.