7 Public Relations Trends to Watch in 2024

In today’s digital-first world, public relations has become a more crucial—and also more complex—part of communication strategies for every business. Not only are there more channels to manage than ever before, but information is being shared faster and more publicly as well. A single PR mistake can quickly be amplified online, sometimes before the PR team even knows it happened.

On the flip side, positive PR can be shared virally in seconds, creating unprecedented opportunities for businesses of any kind to build an engaged audience and grow successfully.

The bottom line: Staying on top of PR trends and remaining agile and knowledgeable in this fast-moving landscape is an absolute must for organizations to stay competitive and maintain solid relationships with stakeholder audiences in the years ahead.

In this article, we’ll cover some of the most important public relations trends to know in 2024 and how to incorporate them effectively into your strategy now.

Quick Takeaways:

  • Public relations is now largely a digital-first strategy, rooted in online channels like social media, online news sites, and online events.
  • Technologies like data analytics and AI are driving smarter, more targeted, and more personalized PR strategies at scale.
  • Corporate social responsibility and ESG will remain top PR priorities in the years ahead.
  • Content diversification for PR communications will become increasingly critical as audiences use many different media types to get information.
  • PR for brand protection is more important than ever in an age of frequent misinformation and “going viral.”

The Evolution of PR in the 2020s

The 2020s have been a transformative time for public relations in the B2B world. This decade so far has brought on a significant shift from traditional PR strategies—think print, TV, and radio ads—to digital-first approaches for B2B businesses in every industry.

Today, integrating digital channels into PR is no longer a forward-thinking option but a strategic necessity for businesses that want to stay relevant and visible to their target audiences. While that doesn’t mean the traditional channels mentioned above are dead, it does mean they need to be augmented by digital PR channels in order for a business to succeed and grow.

Graphic showing a side-by-side view of digital PR vs. traditional PR channels

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Digital PR strategies now dominate, with online platforms, social media, and digital content leading the way to reach wider yet more targeted audiences. This transition is fueled by the recognition that today’s stakeholders, from customers to investors, are increasingly online and increasingly seeking information that’s personalized and tailored to their needs.

With technologies like AI and data analytics integrated into digital PR efforts, B2B businesses are able to execute at scale while delivering messaging that’s hyper-targeted to better engage.

These capabilities are at the foundation of public relations trends on the horizon for 2024. In the next section, we’ll dive more deeply into these trends and how to incorporate them into your strategy.

7 PR Trends to Watch in 2024

Data as a Key PR Driver

The future of PR is rooted in data. In 2024, B2B public relations will heavily rely on analytics and big data to understand and engage specific audience segments. This will mean analyzing customer behaviors, media consumption patterns, and engagement metrics more deeply than ever before in order to target PR campaigns with precision.

Increased Focus on Thought Leadership

B2B brands are increasingly using PR to establish themselves as industry leaders. By sharing insightful content and expert opinions, companies can build credibility and authority in their field. This strategy not only enhances brand visibility but also fosters trust and loyalty among stakeholders.

This focus on thought leadership is no doubt a break from traditional (and now outdated) emphasis on direct brand promotion. Instead, a company’s expertise and insight speak for themselves, demonstrating to audiences they can trust the brand to deliver effective solutions.

Today, B2B decision makers not only use thought leadership as a basis for making buying decisions, but 65% say thought leadership has significantly changed their perception of a company for the better.

The takeaway? Consistent thought leadership will be crucial for establishing a solid brand reputation via PR efforts in 2024 and beyond.

Graphic with statistics emphasizing the importance of thought leadership in B2B, including that 65% of buyers say thought leadership changed their perception of a company for the better

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Personalized Media Relations

Today, nearly half of all journalists receive 10+ media pitches every day. More than a quarter of them get 26+ media pitches daily. This, of course, is due to the ease and speed of pitching via digital channels, and it’s also why the era of one-size-fits-all PR pitches is ending.

Graph breaking down the number of PR pitches journalists receive daily, including that more than a quarter receive 25+ pitches daily

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In 2024, PR professionals will emphasize personalized media relations, crafting tailored pitches for specific journalists and media outlets. This approach increases the chances of media coverage, as content is more relevant and engaging for each media contact’s audience.

Integration of AI and Machine Learning

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning are becoming integral to PR. These technologies aid in media monitoring, trend analysis, and predictive modeling, enabling PR campaigns to be more strategic and impactful.

Research has found that AI is predicted to impact PR in a diverse set of ways that include research and list building, monitoring and measuring performance, writing, reporting, pitching, and strategy and planning. In 2024, an organization’s ability to stay abreast of these rapidly changing AI technologies and trends will undoubtedly impact the level of PR success they can achieve.

Bar chart highlighting the areas of PR that will be impacted by AI in the future, including research, monitoring, writing, reporting, pitching, and strategy

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Elevated Importance of CSR and ESG

This public relations trend isn’t new, but it’s just as relevant as it was a few years ago when it began to emerge with a force. Corporate social responsibility (CSR) and environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues are still a PR priority. B2B companies are expected to communicate not only their business achievements, but also their core values and how they live up to them by making a positive impact.

Further, threading ESG and CSR action and values into public relations must be an organic and always-on priority—not something done once in an annual ESG report. At the same time, audiences are increasingly expecting companies to take a public position on timely issues, meaning PR teams must have a formal policy in place on how those situations are handled as well as how statements are developed and shared.

Content Diversification and Multimedia PR

Press releases alone won’t cut it in 2024. Diverse content formats like videos, podcasts, infographics, and webinars are becoming essential components of PR strategies. This multimedia approach caters to varied content consumption preferences and can amplify message reach and engagement.

While diverse content has long been primarily thought of as a B2C phenomenon, B2B audiences have shown demand for the same, as demonstrated by the types of content B2B marketers and public relations professionals are now creating and using.

Bar chart showing the many types of content B2B marketers are creating and using, including different kinds of video, audio, and text assets

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PR for Brand Protection

In the digital age, PR is increasingly viewed as a tool for crisis management and brand protection. The same digital platforms that give PR teams such far-reaching capabilities are the same ones that make it easy for PR faux-pas to be quickly amplified and for misinformation to spread.

Timely and strategic PR communication is essential to mitigate these and similar risks, maintaining a strong brand reputation while quickly and transparently addressing any issues that arise.

Looking Ahead

As we embark on 2024 and the years ahead, one thing is clear: Public relations has drastically changed, but it remains as (if not more) important than ever. PR teams will need to get more data-driven, put more focus on thought leadership, and personalize their outreach—all while diversifying the channels and content they use to communicate.

At the same time, they’ll be held to higher standards when it comes to sharing company values, handling timely issues, and managing risk.

To handle it all with confidence, many brands are turning to external partners with the right expertise and tools to elevate their strategy. At RevBoss, we deliver a custom-built platform and service that helps B2B clients understand and engage their audience with targeted outbound communications.

For PR professionals, this type of engagement is crucial for building and maintaining relationships with core stakeholder audiences to elevate the brand.

Schedule a quick call with us today to learn more about how RevBoss solutions can enhance your PR efforts this year and in the future.