From a PR vantage point, 2023 was an eventful year. On one hand, we witnessed the growing influence of AI, and how solutions powered by this underlying technology provided invaluable insights to optimize PR campaign performance and make data-driven decisions. On the other hand, many brands reaped rewards from intensifying their focus on social responsibility initiatives like DEI and environmental issues. Additional trends included the growing role of micro-influencers as a solid partnership alternative for brands.
Now, as 2024 looms on the horizon, it is time to look at what’s next, and how it will redefine the PR landscape, especially when focused on tech. Here are seven key trends that, from our perspective, will drive the conversation.
Trends in Tech PR 2024
#1: Product-led PR will gain ground
Product-led PR is a methodology in which a brand’s relationship with its audience is driven, primarily, by a specific product. Because of this narrow focus, obtaining coverage becomes a more straightforward process, as the message and the value proposition become crystal clear. The content includes everything a user needs to know, and it is paired with a call to action button to ensure the user can transition smoothly from learning about the product to buying it.
Canva stands out as a successful example of a product-led strategy, both through their design school and through the events they organize. The company has identified its key stakeholders—where its potential base congregates—and organized strategic PR efforts to enhance outreach, for example, hosting events at schools or creative institutes. By highlighting the benefits their product brings to the table, and showing target users how it can serve their needs, the platform has created a community of over 150 million people and reached a $39 billion valuation.
#2: ROI will determine which communications tools are used
A survey conducted by Marketing Week revealed that of 1,610 marketers who responded, over half believe that ROI is the main metric that executives and board members consider prior to making any business decisions.
ROI gains relevance, especially in the current landscape, where budgets are squeezed and entrepreneurs need to aptly prioritize their expenditures to avoid running out of cash. This means that, if they do not feel they can extract value from a particular tool, they will likely not invest in subscribing to it.
Therefore, what will thrive in 2024 is integrated communications strategies, which are easier to measure and provide more visibility to founders in terms of returns.
#3: AI will impact both PR and media from an operational and regulatory standpoint
In the media landscape, the New York Times recently sued Microsoft and OpenAI due to alleged copyright infringement. There is no doubt, this is only the beginning of AI’s implications regarding transparency, content quality, data privacy, and employment, so we can expect tech regulations to have a profound influence on both journalists and communications professionals.
In addition, the emerging technology will obviously continue impacting PR pros’ day-to-day tasks with AI-powered tools and apps. We’ll see more extensive integration of artificial intelligence with social networks, as well as media outlets in terms of understanding audience needs, automating news production, creating and editing multimedia, moderating comments, and more.
#4: Newsletters will become more and more important
Newsletters are, undoubtedly, causing a significant shift in the overall media landscape, especially by building niche communities and fostering a sense of trust with their audience. An example of this is Stratechery, which has become one of the most influential voices in the tech sector powered by a thriving subscriber base of over 20,000 people. In 2020, the newsletter generated about $3 million in revenue.
In 2024, newsletters will be something to consider as part of your PR efforts. In a successful case, we at Mindset helped our client, California-based startup Neatsy.ai, to be featured in the Bulletpitch newsletter, which resulted in inbound requests from investors and partners in less than a week, plus an invitation to participate in the famous startup show The Pitch. “Depending on the target, it may be more effective than publications in top media outlets,” Artem Semjanow, Neatsy.ai’s Founder and CEO, said.
#5: With the rise of cancel culture, reputation management will be more important than ever
This year, there were a number of scandals related to the world’s geopolitical situation. In some cases—like Web Summit’s former CEO Paddy Cosgrave—the backlash followed a clear position taken by a particular person. However, in other cases, pushback against a brand has been largely driven by perception. For example, Zara has been under fire both for a campaign that was seen as insulting to Palestinians, and also, for having a model pose with a green scarf against a red door background, which was seen as an indication of support for Palestine.
If during the last three years, PR specialists have really needed to be especially aware of crisis situations, now these situations have taken over in terms of specific personalities. Therefore, we expect that reputation management as a service will come to the forefront, and that PR people will need to learn how to work with cancel culture and the shifting media dynamics. This will become paramount especially as we anticipate that this trend—people attempting to find hidden meaning in everything and becoming more sensitive to brands’ messages—will continue, and companies and their PR pros will need to be extremely careful about every single thing.
All in all, 2024 will be an exciting year for PR, and one in which we, as professionals, will need to be very careful. By exercising prudence in our campaigns, taking advantage of technologies like AI and their capabilities for hyper-personalisation, and understanding the shifting media landscape, we can capitalize on all the enormous possibilities that the year will present to create authentic connections between brands and their communities.
The fact that communication between companies and customers has become a two-way street is incredibly exciting, especially given the important role that a well-executed PR campaign can play in it. By increasing visibility, fostering trust and client confidence, and building community with key stakeholders, well-thought-out PR efforts will be key to making 2024 a successful year.