The public relations industry continues to evolve. As visual storytelling, digital media, and social media continue to play a larger role, many marketers are looking to pack more tools into their PR war chest.

Here are some of the hottest trends that could give your business a boost and an edge over your competition.

1. Video, video and video.

Have you seen a video lately? Turn on any social media channel and you’ll see plenty of them in all sorts of shapes and variations. Whether it’s Facebook Live, Twitter Live, Instagram or Snapchat, video is everywhere. And let’s not forget the king of all, YouTube.

Strategically produced video gives brands and businesses more opportunities than ever to connect with customers and prospects.

However, not all productions will work with all audiences. Going live on Facebook is certainly different than creating a segment for YouTube.

Audiences will also be differentiated by age, gender and interest.

Testing and learning which approaches are most effective will help you determine which channels are best for your audience and will give you the best return on investment.

2. SEO public relations.

Search engine optimization (SEO) is always crucial for those businesses that rely on Google and other search engines for new customers. However, highlighting press releases with key search terms is becoming more popular than ever.

Press releases must be newsworthy and follow the proper format.

Keywords can be strategically placed in the release without losing intent or flow.

If your company uses press releases as a public relations vehicle, you can increase your ranking by adding important search phrases to your document.

3. Clicks and Hits journalism.

Bloggers and writers get paid to produce content on a weekly or daily basis. Some even several times a day.

Many are compensated by the number of views they receive.

As full-time staff continue to shrink at newspapers and print publications, writers are under more pressure than ever to produce strong writing that excites their fan base.

Businesses and public relations professionals who can assist in this process are a welcome resource.

Those who can deliver a good out-of-the-box information package that is on target and to the point have an excellent opportunity to generate a high level of media coverage for their clients.

4. Theater of headlines.

As mentioned above, writers are under increased pressure to produce solid content.

They have less time to read and study each and every media release that comes along.

Emails with dramatic, funny, and highly topical subject lines are more likely to be read than others.

Marketers should avoid the bland and tailor their copywriting accordingly to greatly improve their chances of coverage.

5. Podcasts.

Podcasting is gaining popularity as a communication vehicle.

The overall quality and technology have improved a lot from previous years.

Many enjoy listening to podcasts at work, in their car, or relaxing at home. It’s an easy and insightful way to gain industry knowledge, hear from experts, and even appear as a guest.

Keep in mind that some podcasts have larger audiences than others. Some have between 500 and 1000 listeners or more, reach a very specific audience and are broadcast on regular radio stations and multiple platforms.

Whether you’re invited as a guest or create your own, podcasts are a great tool for posting to your website and social vehicles.

Business owners can build more credibility and increase web hits by making multiple appearances on various shows.

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