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Recap of PR Trends: The Future of Digital in 2018

PR Trends 2018

By James Alley

It’s no secret that the public relations industry is continuously changing. What is the best way to tell a story in an increasingly digital world? What are some tips and tricks from the pros to effectively reach audiences?  To answer these questions for the Orange County PR community, OCPRSA held an event Thursday on PR Trends: The Future of Digital in 2018, featuring a robust panel discussion with industry leaders on the direction of public relations, social media and big data in the year ahead.

The panelists came from a diverse background and represent a variety of industries: Lisa Jammal, Founder Social Intelligence Agency; Laura Knapp, Vice President of Digital in Los Angeles, Porter Novelli; Erin Glover, Editorial Content Director, Disneyland Resort; and, Mike Delgado, Director of Social Media and Community Engagement, Experian. The panel was moderated by Brenda Springer, CEO & Founder, Reveille, Inc.

While the discussion touched on different marketing tips and cutting edge online tools to use in 2018, staying true to the roots of a good story remained a key focus for these pros.

“Storytelling is extremely important,” said Glover of Disneyland. “Being able to craft our own unique story around our rides and parks is one of our most valuable tools.”

Here are a few of the highlights and takeaways from our panelists discussion:

The importance of a strong presence on social media and video as content – “As we look to the future the focus on social media platforms will be on more targeted, higher quality posts versus volume,” Brenda Springer. “Creating high quality engaging content is getting more and more difficult with the move towards video, [because] you’re constantly competing for views. Use hashtags for targeting specific audiences and to stay keyed into trends,” Mike Delgado.

Make sure to choose the right social media influencer for the campaign – “You have to do your homework when choosing an influencer for your brand. Micro influencers can often provide great returns from their targeted and active audiences,” Lisa Jammal. There are countless influencers on social media all boasting large audiences and high engagement, make sure you do your research to ensure a good fit.

A move towards big data and social media analytics as a metric for measuring success – “We need to use data to build a better campaign to reach the people our customers want to talk to,” Lisa Jammal. The ability to curate data from social media campaigns has now never been easier thanks to tools like Buffer and Iconosquare. Data is the best way to demonstrate measurable results to customers and organizations.

In 2018 Social Media and Influencer Management is part of PR – Influencer campaigns and social media will be major drivers of PR in 2018. The vast majority of consumers and customers are using social media and one of the best ways to reach them is through influencers who share content they are interested in. It is important to foster good relationships with influencers as they can be great partners for your clients and organization.

Developing your own story around brands and ideas – “By focusing on creating our own story around the attractions and park at Disneyland we have been able to engage with a wide audience on social media who are actively engaged and identify with the story we are telling,” Erin Glover. By creating a unique story around a brand you enable audiences to engage and relate with the story you tell, people become your brand champions.

The event sold out and was a great way to kick off 2018. Stay tuned for more great OC PRSA events throughout the year, to learn more visit https://www.ocprsa.org/events/

A video version of the panel discussion can be viewed here: https://youtu.be/4QVHbTSS8Wo

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