Anastasiya Zhulina, PR&Marketing Director, has underlined three main PR tendencies that were in the spotlight last year, exclusively for "Ukrainskyy Yuryst".

1. PR and content marketing are the best friends foreve

One of the most important changes that have been taking place in public relations over the years is the change in approaches to brand promotion, namely the move away from self-promotion. Yes, your duty is still about promoting your brand, but it is also about eliminating the barriers of distrust and giving your audience a chance to contact you. This year, to reach the right audience, one needed to do something more than shouting the loudest. We were learning to deliver value.

And thus, the industry will keep on observing the growing relevance of content marketing. Content marketing has always been about using content to educate, engage, and deliver value to your audience. As this becomes a more important priority for PR, they will need to work more closely together. After all, it is PR that positively positions your brand in front of the audience that matters to you, and content marketing is what turns this reputation into profit.

2. Personal branding for leaders is the #1 priority in PR

Public relations is about how people in your audience attribute your brand. For better or worse, this perception only depends on the people who run your business. Thus, how your key employees and executives brand themselves, in other words, personalize themselves in society, plays a significant role in how your audience connects to your brand and trusts it. As a result, leadership (influence on the audience) and personal branding have become important functions of modern PR teams.

As mentioned above, PR and content marketing are becoming more and more evened out, and this is another specific example where such overlapping is useful. PR teams must be prepared to work with marketing to help key employees create content that will build up their leadership and engage them with their audience.

3. Loss of trust in the mass media will be a constant challenge

It is becoming more and more difficult to gain trust, and it has never been easier to lose it. The 2019 Edelman Trust Barometer reveals that trust has changed profoundly in the past year – the level of trust is declining worldwide. For the first time, the media is the least trusted institution. Thus, the society has been altering or, in simple words, people have shifted their trust to the relationships within their control, most notably to their employers. Globally, 75 percent of people trust "my employer" to do what is right, significantly more than NGOs (57 percent), business (56 percent) and media (47 percent).

This obviously complicates the work of PR-leaders. Fortunately, the same research has shown that confidence is growing in one important area: to experts. Actually, trust in technical experts, executives and successful entrepreneurs have grown since 2017. At the same time, when confidence is so fragile, it is important for everyone in PR and communications to know and understand which of the opinion leaders is trusted by their target audience. Like every aspect of communications, public relations is constantly upgrading, and the ways to reach, engage, and build trust to the audience that matters most to you, must be pursued.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.