For us, 2023 will always be remembered as the year that Cullen Communications became a certified B Corporation (or B Corp for short). As achievements go, it’s right up there with anything we’ve accomplished in our almost 40-year history.
So, what does being a B Corp actually mean? Aside from the strict assessment criteria we had to satisfy in order to achieve certification, being a B Corp means we are a business that’s actively trying to have a positive influence on the world through things like minimising our impact on the environment, engaging with communities, and being a good employer.
Trying to be a force for good is something more businesses need to do. Not only because our planet needs it, but because consumers and employees increasingly demand it. Brands that are committed to sustainability will enjoy a clear PR advantage in 2024 and beyond.
But what else can we expect to see in 2024?
From showing the authentic, human face of your brand to leveraging LinkedIn for unparalleled thought leadership, here are five of the top PR trends you can expect to see in the New Year.
1. Brands being true to themselves
As mentioned above, there’s an increasing focus on the need for businesses to demonstrate an authentic commitment to making the world a better place. Whether this manifests through B Corp certification, enhanced CSR activity or some other purpose-led initiative, authenticity is the key to success.
By remaining true to their vision and values, and not bowing to external forces or expectations, brands can build trust and credibility not only with clients and customers but with employees too. No business is perfect; we could all be doing better, and people understand that. By being honest, open and even a little bit vulnerable, brands can connect on a deeper level in 2024.
2. More AI, and more humans too
You didn’t think we could publish a 2024 blog without mentioning AI, did you?
Although artificial intelligence is already helping PR professionals so much in terms of data analysis, consumer and industry insights, content generation and more, it remains a hot potato.
As our industry has discovered over the past 12 months, AI is not perfect. It’s not even always accurate. It is machine-generated so it needs a human hand at the tiller. The creative sector has always been driven by our unique human voices and imaginations, and that’s not going to change in 2024.
3. Social getting stronger
Sometimes, it’s hard to remember what the world was like before social media took over.
At this stage, it’s equally hard to imagine what the world would be like without it. For PR agencies and practitioners, a strong social media presence goes hand in hand with proactive media outreach, broadening the audience and enabling real-time relationship building.
Social is only going to get bigger in 2024 and beyond. It’s paramount that PR pros are adept at the basics: publishing original content; creating articles; sharing insights; showing up in the comments; and building – always building. In spite of his best efforts, Elon Musk’s X is still going strong(ish) but it’s LinkedIn that has really emerged as the key positioning platform.
4. Thought leadership on LinkedIn
Following on from the last point, LinkedIn has gone from a careers/networking site to the world’s foremost social media platform for thought leadership. Today, more than 700 million people around the world are on LinkedIn, opening up a massive global audience for companies and individuals to demonstrate their knowledge, skillset and experience.
If you’re not using LinkedIn to position yourself, your organisation or your clients as thought leaders, you’re missing a trick. In 2024, expect the platform to keep on growing through insights, discussion, storytelling, networking and powerful brand-building. If you need to up your game, here are 20 tips for a better LinkedIn profile!
5. Influencers gonna influence
In 2023, it’s unlikely there’s a single mainstream brand that doesn’t routinely include influencer marketing as part of its comms toolkit. The sheer breadth of content and subject matter that’s now available is simply incredible, from heavyweight Instagram celebs with millions of followers to ultra-niche TikTokers with a few hundred.
That’s the whole point – whatever you’re selling, there’s an influencer who can help. To make the most of this still relatively new phenomenon, it helps to have a good grasp of video-reel creation, as well as a commitment to authentic influence. Only by understanding what an audience is really interested in can brands tap into that connection in a meaningful way.
New year, new trends
There’s never been a more exciting time to work in PR, and these five tips are just a tiny teaser of everything we can expect to see and hear about next year. What are your hot tips for 2024? Let us know in the comments section and, as always, if your brand needs a trusted PR partner to help tell your story, we’d love to chat.
Happy new year!
About the author
David Powell is a copywriter and content specialist with Cullen Communications