In the ever-evolving landscape of digital PR, staying ahead of the curve is crucial for success. As we step into 2024, several trends are shaping the way businesses communicate and connect with their audiences. From data-driven campaigns to the integration of artificial intelligence (AI) for idea generation and the rising influence of platforms like TikTok, businesses are navigating through new opportunities and looking for ways to be seen.
Additionally, considering the global nature of digital PR, understanding the impact of the cost of living on campaigns is becoming increasingly vital as is sticking to the basics such as telling a good story!
In this blog post, we'll delve into these trends and provide top tips for navigating the world of digital PR over the next 12 months.
Data has always been a powerful tool, but in 2024, it is the backbone of successful digital PR campaigns. Utilising data analytics and insights allows PR professionals to understand their audience better, tailor their messaging, and measure the impact of their efforts.
With advancements in data collection tools and technologies, businesses can now gather more granular and real-time information, enabling them to make informed decisions and optimise their strategies on the go.
having concrete numbers to back up your strategy is what will set your idea apart from your competitors and help yield better results. It will also help foster stronger relationships with journalists who will know you have that added value to them. What’s also great with data is that you can turn it into something visually appealing - such as infographics or an interactive map for example.
Here you can see what we did for our client Sunsail. We gathered an enormous amount of data to reveal the top 25 most secluded beaches in the world for switching off. You can find out and read more about our campaign here but essentially we we used a range of online search data, Trip Advisor reviews, information from official tourism boards, and geological data to rank beaches based on the following factors:
Each beach was then ranked against these factors and given a score out of 17. The lower the score, the more secluded and remote the beach is.
This campaign was featured, and secured links in, the likes of The Sun, Daily Record and more.
It’s worth stating that data is also a great way to track your performance, measure your outcomes more precisely, adjust strategies on the go, and make informed decisions to help cater to your chosen audience. It also helps you to prove to stakeholders that what you’re doing is strengthening your brand’s presence in the media.
As we all know by now, Artificial intelligence is everywhere and it’s certainly revolutionising the creative process in digital PR. But it’s not as scary as what we all initially feared this time last year when the likes of ChatGPT started to dominate the headlines (some thinking it would steal all our jobs ).
The amazing thing about these AI-powered tools, such as ChatGPT, is that they can generate creative ideas, and analyse vast amounts of data to identify patterns and predict trends.
By leveraging AI, PR professionals can streamline their brainstorming processes, ensuring that their campaigns are not only data-driven but also innovative and resonate with their target audience.
However, we do have to exercise some caution when using it. It’s great for what’s mentioned above but you still need that human touch with your campaigns. Not only will journalists see straight through an AI-generated release or pitch but so will Google!
This isn’t necessarily ‘new’ but it’s certainly becoming more and more popular. Journalists are always on the lookout for exclusives and if you can offer comments from your brand or your client you are onto a good thing.
Essentially pitches should be offered as an exclusive and tailored to the specific journalist you are targeting. By all means, once the story is published feel free to outreach to other publications and journalists who may be interested but again tailor it to them, adding insights that might be better suited to their audience that you might’ve left out the first time around.
Whilst this may mean you could receive fewer links a so-called exclusive story can lead to features on higher domain publications and help build and maintain relationships with journalists. It also means your backlink profile will be healthier, avoiding those spammy links we all want to avoid.
In the example below we gave exclusive comments to Ideal Home based on how to plant and look after Wisteria after noticing that online searches for how to look after wisteria and prine wisteria had risen enormously since the launch of the trailer for the hit Netflix show Bridgerton had aired, in which wisteria dominates some of the scenes. The journalist loved the idea and ran with the story. This also opened up an amazing relationship with the journalist and she trusted us to provide her with expert commentary on a weekly basis.
TikTok is continuing to be a force to be reckoned with in the digital marketing space. In 2024, the platform continues to dominate as a key channel for engaging younger audiences. It’s not just an entertainment app it’s also a source of information and inspiration - a search engine in its own right.
Many journalists use it to discover trending topics to base their articles around - therefore it’s crucial you also keep an eye on those trends and viral challenges in advance to stay ahead of the competition and remain relevant. If you spot a trending hashtag or challenge, can you utilise an ‘expert’ within your business as a way to ‘react’ to what is going viral? If so then you are creating a story in itself.
Below you can see what did did for our client Everypaw. We noticed that there was a viral ‘popcorn paws’ trend on TikTok where dog owners were listing ‘popcorn paws’ as one of their favourite scents. In one viral TikTok, which had over 3.4 million views at the time, the comments section was divided over whether popcorn paws were a sign of dangerous bacteria or not. We jumped straight on this by obtaining expert comments from Everypaw’s in-house vet who set the record straight and offered some expert guidance.
From this, we secured coverage in the likes of The Sun, Daily Mirror and Daily Mail.
The cost of living is not going away anytime soon. It’s getting harder and harder for people on a daily basis and therefore it should be, where and if relevant to your brand, considered within your digital PR campaigns.
Can you offer journalists informative, on-topic content to help audiences (and your potential customers) at this time such as top tips on how to save money if you want to redecorate your kitchen or lounge or provide DIY hacks to fixing a fridge if you are a home and interiors brand for instance? Or if you are a HR consultancy firm could you put a guide together with top CV tips to help those looking for a job? It’s looking at how you can help those who may just be your target audience too
On the flip side to this, with people feeling the pinch and with other major world events going on the news can be very negative. So journalists are also looking for lighthearted, uplifting content too, to provide some joy. Look at how you can lift people’s spirits at this tricky time.
It’s vital to remember though, that the basics are important when it comes to digital PR. You must have a story, you must have something new to say and it’s got to have a strong hook!
Spend time getting the right strategy in place and building a content calendar that aligns with your USPs and leverages insights from behavioural science to create content that resonates. Without the right strategy, you won’t get the results you crave and you won’t sit above your competitors. You can learn more about this by watching a recent Brunch and Learn style webinar focusing on this topic.
Embracing these digital PR trends for 2024 will undoubtedly position businesses for success in an increasingly competitive and dynamic online environment.
From harnessing the power of data and AI to mastering the art of TikTok campaigns and navigating the cost of living crisis the key is to stay agile and innovative.
By staying ahead of these trends and implementing strategic hacks, businesses can elevate their digital PR efforts and foster meaningful connections with their target audience.
If you’re looking for extra support with your PR requirements we’d love to hear from you!
Joanna oversees the PR and Media activity for our clients, including link building and outreach strategies.
She leverages her outstanding relationships with the movers and shakers at household name publications and websites to ensure our clients receive the best coverage and most powerful backlinks. She’s also an expert copywriter and offers reactive PR and media monitoring.More about Joanna