It was a whirlwind of a ride in 2020, and given everything that’s happened in the last year, it might be a big ask to stop while the winds of change are still blowing and look toward the future. But nonetheless, everything moves on. Here are some public relations trends to watch out for in 2021:
Health and safety
With the pandemic in full swing, the health and safety of customers and employees remain top priority regardless of where it may be located or how big the company is. Portraying this message to consumers is not only important for general safety and regulations, but it will help customers purchase from a brand or company they consider safe. This way people can minimize any unnecessary risks, and trust is built. But this was also true before the pandemic started, if companies want to retain customers and gain new ones they need to stand for their message and be serious as this is not the time to be wishy-washy.
TikTok social media
It’s no surprise that social media use went up in 2020, due to the pandemic and everyone spending more time at home. With all that’s happened and social distancing to keep each other safe, people are heading to social media more and more to fulfill the need for connection. One platform that’s become increasingly popular is Tik Tok. It’s been discovered that more and more companies work with this social media giant to promote products and services. Not only this, but brands, companies and corporations can make their own channel to reach a whole new demographic of potential consumers they wouldn’t be able to reach otherwise.
Virtual events/ personalized events
We are now online more than ever. We work online, shop online, exercise online and now, more than ever, socialize online. Even though digital fatigue can be very real, people are adapting over time with certain online experiences. The consensus seems to be that overall people are preferring the experience. However, it’s important to remember that all customers crave human connection, so creators must make sure the content made provides a personalized digital experience and is authentic to the consumer.
With everything now going online like shopping, social hangouts and even business meetings. VR or AR can allow the customer or consumer to shop somewhat like before in a virtual yet similar world. They can see themselves in different looks, see different room designs for home decor and even do grocery shopping. Using technologies like this can provide a more personalized experience, and in 2021 consumers will be looking for that more “in person” experience feeling.
The COVID-19 pandemic has opened up a lot of eyes to countless serious issues going on across the world, and people have begun to put more thought into where and how they spend their money. Consumers not only want to shop locally or support a cause close to them, they want to buy from brands that align with their values. Communicating the message of a brand and generating loyal customers is important in this time, 2021 isn’t the year to be silent.
Ronn Torossian is CEO of 5WPR, a leading PR firm.