Nicola Snell, owner of Press Loft, takes a look at what has happened in the PR world in 2016:
A Return to PR with a twist
Last year we saw a monumental shift back in marketing budgets to PR with people aligning PR activity to their SEO strategy and their SERPs. Quality backlinks in high DA blogs were becoming a big focus for brands who previously abandoned Print PR in their droves. These brands had observed key benefits in working with PR Agencies whose relationships with bloggers was more established than SEO agencies who didn’t quite have the niche experience and relationships to generate quality coverage. In 2017 this is already becoming more profound with PRs working closely with Keyword Goals as a standard part of their strategy.
Going hand in hand with the online PR push came the more in-depth measurement tools PRs had begun using. DA (Domain Authority) became a standard way for PRs to measure a blog’s popularity, along with more detailed coverage analysis such as social shares, engagement, referrals and conversion rates
Being able to better prove the ROI for PR has meant brands feel more comfortable in spending on PR and this will grow in 2017 as the brands who do PR well observe better SERPS than those who ignore PR.
Digital Competition rises
2015 and earlier was the time for print teams to be cut across magazines due to advertising cuts. In 2016 we saw digital teams at publications being downsized as they competed increasingly with bloggers and Instagrammers for readers.
The cost of setting up online blogs and magazines is so cheap that there is no limit to the number of influencers who can build their own brands in competition to the print and digital titles.
This has seen a proliferation of PRs working with the influencer outreach platforms which are popping up. Influencer outreach will become huge in 2017 as these platforms make it increasingly accessible.
However all is not lost by any means – some digital titles are booming and we can see new marketing channels for print and online titles booming- like Readly, Issuu and Magzster.