With all the events that happened in 2020 – a pandemic, quarantine, working from home, social injustices- Public Relations professionals had to change their tactics in order to stay afloat amongst the several storms that barreled in during 2020.
The absolute biggest trend right now is social media. Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, you name it. Social media broadens the channel of communication so that companies can reach their audience directly.
So, what kind of tactics should you use when embracing social life?
Authentic Connection to Everyday Life
According to Public Relations Today, authentically connecting with the issues in American’s everyday lives is the way to go. Embracing humanity is a top priority, so relating to people’s emotions and perspectives is a necessity. Get on a human-to-human level to understand your audience better.
Preventing “the swipe” or “the scroll” is critical with social media. Keeping content to a minimum while getting your point across allows the consumers to stay interested and read (or watch) your content.
Using Instagram’s multiple photo layout is a good way to keep content short and engaging. I have found this to be a high trend.
If you want to use video content, keep it raw and 60 seconds maximum. If you have a longer video, people will scroll really fast. Short storytelling is the way to go!
The Power of Influencers
Another tactic involves utilizing social media through influencers. Using employees or consumers who genuinely enjoy your company, product or brand is a great way to interact with your audience.
Influencers are a great way to create that authentic, transparent, human-to-human level connection. If consumers see your brand being used by someone their age, they are more likely to use your company or product because it is relatable to them.
YouTube influencers are a perfect example of this. The brand Shein uses influencers to promote their clothing lines and swimsuit lines. Shein hauls are so popular on YouTube, TikTok and Instagram stories. Shein as a brand has gotten more and more popular over the years due to this tactic.
Social media is essentially a platform for anyone who wants to use their voice. According to Ragan’s PR Daily, “value based spreading” is crucial for gaining positive publicity.
Consumers want action, if your company is able to use its resources to make an impact, the people will expect that and appreciate it.
They expect honesty and transparency, which thus leads to your company being known as trustworthy.
The brand Levi’s has been able to earn the world’s trust by being transparent about what they are doing, as well as being very active in social and environmental movements. “Stop washing your jeans, save the world” motto launches Levi’s into the world of environmental sustainability.
2,500 gallons of water is needed to produce the cotton for the jean itself, which many people don’t know. Levi however is very aware of this issue, and is hoping to produce a new line named “waterless”. The lack of water required correlates to the maintenance of the jeans as well, meaning a rinse cycle is not needed for the jeans which thus directly lowers water bills.
This is a smart PR move because who wouldn’t want sustainable clothing for oneself and for the environment? It builds trust as well as lets the public know that they are aware of active issues and are actively working to solve them.
Not only have they used their platforms to work towards a better environment, but they have also participated in being a voice for the 2020 election. The brands most recent campaign touches the subject of voting during the most charged year America has seen in a very long time.
They teamed up with celebrities Hailey Bieber and Oge Egbuonu to produce a powerful message that was directly speaking to the new generation of voters.
The commercial spoke volumes for the brand and gained the attention of the press quickly. This is also an example of how to use influencers to your company’s advantage.
While there are other new trending tactics for PR in 2021, social media continues to be the largest of them all. Don’t be afraid to use social media, it truly will impact your company and its relationship with its consumers!