The World Public Relations Day Festival activities in Ghana have been buzzing in the PR community. It is warming up to be an unprecedented event that unifies industry players, students and practitioners. With a host of activities leading up to the WPRD Summit on July 14, the festival has already proven to be a valuable resource for PR professionals seeking to stay on top of industry trends.
One such activity is Twitter Spaces, conversations around everything PR. The second session of the Twitter Spaces held last week May 12 focused on the impact of today’s digital landscape on PR trends.
The digital landscape and PR (Public Relations) trends are constantly evolving, influenced by advancements in technology, changes in consumer behaviour and emerging communication platforms. With constant evolution of the space, it has become important for PR professionals to stay ahead of the curve in order to effectively reach their target audiences.
We’ve witnessed the dominance of social media, the rise of Influencer Marketing, and a greater push for Content Marketing as well as Storytelling for brands. Not just that: we have also observed how the digital landscape is shaping Data-Driven PR, real-time Crisis Management, and the personalisation and customisation of PR messaging.
These trends reflect the digital landscape’s dynamic nature and the evolving role of PR in shaping public perception and building meaningful connections with audiences.
Organised by Global Media Alliance, the Twitter Spaces Panel has industry experts with extensive experience in both PR and digital technology – including Emma Wenani, Chief Director of Global Media Alliance; Maximus Ametorgoh, CEO & Digital Lead of PopOut; Kofi Ayeh Akrofi, MD-Brand Anchor; and Emeka Obia, Head-Strategy & Planning at Insight Redefini.
The session was moderated by Philip Ashon, a digital communications strategist, and filled with insights on how PR professionals can leverage digital technology and new trends to maximise impact for their brands.
The discussion began with a breakdown of Ghana’s digital numbers on social media, highlighting WhatsApp as the most popular platform with 23 million users. Emphasis was made on the importance of knowing the right target audience and social media platforms for effective engagement to achieve specific objectives.
The panellists also discussed how brands can appeal to the younger generation, and how PR professionals can use Artificial Intelligence technology to enhance their strategies.
Elaborating on the subject of AI technology, Maximus Ametorgoh emphasised the importance of emotional connections between audiences and content, even when leveraging AI. “Over the past five years, there has been an increase in the number of businesses that have adopted digital solutions to their practices; such as the inclusion of chatbots and the use of influencers to drive sales. Using AI can be both effective and ineffective. It’s more than just the copywriting, the effect and emotion that is attached to the writing is what resonates with audiences.”
On the topic of digital technology’s emergence into PR practice, Emma Wenani stressed the need for PR practitioners to find ways of capitalising on digital media. “Digital participation in Ghana is here to stay. PR practitioners need to find ways of using it correctly, and capitalise on it for maximum impact in our campaigns.
“To create unison between digital and traditional media, practitioners need to understand their audience preferences, platforms they use and how to tailor messaging to meet their needs,” she added.
Referencing the need for integrating digital and traditional media, Kofi Akrofi stated: “In terms of modern PR, practitioners need to have knowledge of the two platforms in order to have a perfect blend that meets consumers’ needs and also drives sales. New media have created the opportunity to speak and be spoken to, so brands need to develop a personality to create an actual connection with the people – so they can become your amplification tools”.
Speaking on how brands can connect with the newer generation, Emeka Obia noted: “Brands need to authentically engage the younger generation because they are the ones who will be influencing the next level of conversations and narratives in different aspects of culture”.
Throwing more light on this, Emeka Obia added: “At the very core, a lot of young people are very connected through mobile devices; and reaching them requires an understanding of this younger generation, how they express themselves and how they interact with these devices on various platforms in ways that can be meaningful to a brand”.
Throughout the discussion, panellists provided valuable opinions and takeaways for PR professionals looking to stay ahead of the curve.
As a PR professional, I find these nuggets very invaluable and relevant.
For me, my takeaways from the Twitter Spaces session were as follows:
- Content is still king in the digital age – PR professionals need to create content that is informative, engaging and visually appealing.
- Be social – Social media is a powerful tool for PR professionals. Use social media to connect with your target audiences, share your content and build relationships.
- Be data-driven – Use data to inform your PR strategy. Track your results and make adjustments as needed.
- Be creative – The digital landscape is constantly changing. PR professionals need to be creative in order to reach their target audiences and achieve their goals.
I would encourage all PR practitioners to tune-in to the next Twitter Spaces on 26th May 2023, and all the other events slated for the World PR Day Festival – which will touch on sustainability, the economy, a masterclass and the next generation of PR women. The festival guarantees being a unique opportunity to learn from industry experts and engage with fellow professionals.
>>>the writer is a PR Executive, Global Media Alliance