4 PR Trends To Monitor Heading into 2022

4 PR Trends To Monitor Heading into 2022

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Because public relations is continuously evolving, it’s more important than ever to stay up-to-date on the latest industry topics, technologies, and trends. Although media relations and traditional PR content creation continue to play a crucial role in our field, modern PR professionals will be expected to handle a much wider range of responsibilities than in previous years. In fact, a recent Muckrack survey found that 73% of PR pros don’t think the term “public relations” as it’s defined today will describe the work they’re doing in five years.

In preparation for the inevitable changes in the PR industry over the next few years, we’ve outlined four trends to monitor as we move into 2022.


1. It’s all about the numbers

As public relations and marketing departments become increasingly intertwined, PR professionals will start heavily relying on data and analytics for their communications efforts. Public relations has always been about storytelling, and in order to create compelling stories and narratives, your PR campaigns will have to be driven by data.

By gathering data on important KPIs like SEO improvement, social media advertising, or earned media, you can justify your previous decisions and inform your future PR efforts. This subsequently leads to security in terms of budgeting for PR, as companies can see tangible evidence that your outreach led to traffic, conversions, leads, and ultimately sales.


2. Personalized Pitching

A recent study found that 96% of PR professionals say individual emails are the most effective channel for pitching journalists. This statistic suggests the days of incessantly sending out pitches and mass emailing are long gone, and the future of pitching is all about personalization for the journalist you’re contacting.

Reporters receive tons of pitches a day, so you have to discover ways to cut through the noise. Regardless of how relevant or timely a pitch is, you’ll improve your hit rate by cultivating relationships with journalists and learning their areas of expertise.


3. The impact of Influencers

Social media usage has grown exponentially in recent years, and it shows no sign of slowing down. With over half of the world’s population on social media platforms, PR professionals have had to adapt rapidly to reach people in this new landscape, and one of the more popular trends is influencer marketing. For instance, current industry forecasts predict US influencer marketing spending will rise by 33.6% in 2021 to $3.69 billion!

Influencers, as the name would suggest, are anyone with a large following on social media, but it’s not just massive influencers with millions of followers like the Kardashians. Recently, brands have begun utilizing micro and nano-influencers, which are influencers with smaller followings in niche markets. This level of influencer actually experiences higher levels of engagement than many of the mega-celebrity influencers, which reinforces the idea that quality is more important than quantity in regards to ROI on social media.


4. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion will be a major focus

As many as 70% of consumers want brands to take a stand on social and political issues, which is a 66% increase from 2017.  The PR industry is evolving alongside the social climate, so establishing core values for a client will be a priority going forward. In light of recent social movements, consumers expect companies to take authentic stances on certain social issues, and prominent brands like Ben & Jerry’s, Nike, and AirBNB have led the charge on this matter.

Similarly, companies that lack clear policies on diversity and inclusion are at risk of falling behind their competitors. The increased focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion is not only necessary from an equitability standpoint, but it also increases profitability and overall performance. A McKinsey study found that businesses who embrace diversity experience a 19% increase in revenue and a 35% performance advantage.


The PR field is certainly different than it was in 2000, and it will change even more by 2025. Understanding these industry trends will prepare you for what’s to come and enhance your PR strategies in the next year.

Marketing Insider: Matt Smith

Marketing Insider: Matt Smith

Marketing Insider Matt Smith

For this edition of Marketing Insider, we’re talking with our Digital Media Art Director, Matt Smith. In addition to the web and digital design he does, he is also our in-house video editor. We talked through some of the differences in marketing videos versus other kinds, the production process and the value of video for brands.


Bouvier Kelly: Let’s start by getting some background information. How did you get into videography?

Matt: I was fortunate to go to a high school that had a broadcast program, so I utilized their cameras, computers, and editing suites and spent all my free time diving into videography and the production of the school’s tv station. From there, I learned a lot of non-linear editing, often using VHS or other traditional editing techniques, and over time taught myself a lot of new things. Fast forward to college, I went to school for computer animation and was able to grow my skillset in film making, animation and motion graphics. When I began working at a marketing agency, I got to mesh my experiences with both animation and videography to create content for brands.

BKI: That’s awesome and a perfect segue to the next question: How are marketing videos different from other types of videos? 

Matt: All videography tells a story, but with marketing there is a lot of thought behind which way is the best way to tell a story to a specific target audience. Some groups may be more interested in an interview style for web, while others are more interested in a commercial format for broadcasting. Producing content that will best serve a brand’s goals is the main difference. The content needs to fit the brand’s style and also be unique enough to get clicks, views or some sort of engagement.

BKI: What does your research process look like when creating a video for a brand/client and what information do you need from them?

Matt: Typically, we go ahead and get the client’s logo and brand guide. Then we look through the client’s previous content to make sure any content we create is cohesive with their reputation and what they are known for. We also look at current trends for their industry in video and animation. Once we gather enough initial research, we begin brainstorming ideas. In this step it can be difficult to verbally explain a video plan to clients, so we create storyboards and style frames to describe what will happen and how it will look. It is important that this process is very detail-oriented, because if we are thorough in our pre-production work, the production and post-production work is efficient in both time and cost.

BKI: How fast is the turnaround time for making a video and what elements can affect it?

Matt: It all comes down to length and complexity. If you would like to create a couple of 30 second videos that include static graphics, footage and simple animated motion graphics that could be done in a week or two. On the other hand, if you’d like several two to three-minute videos produced for a commercial or YouTube channel with plenty of complex motion graphics and multi-camera footage that could take up to a month or longer. Something that is very important when doing a film shoot is making sure you have the right crew and you’re getting all the necessary shots, because once you get into the edit, it’s quite expensive to do a re-shoot and creates huge delays if you have to wait on additional assets. That comes back full circle to good planning in the pre-production stage and making sure you get more shots than you need while filming. When you have all the pieces to the puzzle, it’s a lot faster to assemble it.

BKI: Overall, what makes a good, high-quality video?

Matt: The concept is important, but budget is often the key. Shooting in 4K, getting drone footage, hiring actors and voice actors, good equipment to have on set, CGI assets (3D computer-generated-Imagery), paying for extra time in the concepting phase, the list goes on. But the larger the budget, the more some of these high-quality elements can be incorporated.

BKI: The cost of producing a video has some businesses questioning if it is worth it, but many marketing strategists see it as a must have. What makes a marketing video so valuable?

Matt: Brands can get so much use out of a single marketing video when it’s done right. A single video can be a commercial, a social media post, a digital sign, website content, etc. Plus, once you have all those video assets, they can be repurposed for other videos or elements of your campaign. That single investment has a lot of value and creates so many different avenues for a brand.

Learn more about the video production process or check out our YouTube channel to see some samples of our work.

B2B versus B2C Marketing

B2B versus B2C Marketing

Fundamentally, there is a lot more that’s similar between B2B and B2C marketing than is different. But the deeper you dig, the more distinct differences you’ll find that you need to account for in your strategy. We put together this infographic with the basics broken down.

A preview of the infographic you can download

B2C vs B2B

Shared Marketing Fundamentals

  • Know the target market – what motivates them
  • Position and price product to be competitive in the marketplace
  • Communicate product attributes to demonstrate value and demand


B2C Consumer Advertising Fundamentals

  • Emotional Connection
  • Create Demand
  • Induce Action/Impulse

B2C Buyers

  • Look for brand values that align with their own
  • Want a connection to something larger than themselves (community)
  • Need validation that they make smart choices
  • Use brands to define how others view them

You Must

  • Understand your buyer’s journey
  • Make brand promise and culture a part of user experience
  • Have products and services that deliver on the emotional connection to the brand
  • Be where your customers are


B2B Trade Advertising Fundamentals

  • Factual/Informational
  • Motivate/Inspire
  • Calculated Decision

B2B Buyers

  • Have a responsibility to make the right decisions
  • Take less risks
  • Need quality to be absolutely right
  • Believe they have the ability to cut-thru the bull

You Must

  • Raise your game
  • Clearly understand their needs
  • Ensure that your products exceed their requirements
  • Let them know


Marketing Insider: Lesley Thompson

Marketing Insider: Lesley Thompson

Marketing Insider Lesley Thompson

For this edition of Marketing Insider, we interviewed Lesley Thompson, our Integrated Media Director. As the conversation jumped from Nielsen ratings to negotiation, it was a pleasure to learn more about how the media landscape has changed throughout Lesley’s career.

Bouvier Kelly: You have quite a complex job title that leaves many people asking what you do. To start, could you break down what it means to be an Integrated Media Director?

Lesley: Shortly, I develop the overall distribution strategy for our clients and buy media. A more in-depth description would be that I research the target audience, develop the best plan of action to reach them, then figure out the cost.

BKI: What does it mean to be “integrated”?

Lesley: It refers to the ways in which the media landscape has changed. I have been in the media industry since 1991, when advertising was less digital. Being able to go from tangible tactics like billboards and traditional TV commercials to digital advertising on streaming services and social media is what it means to be integrated. It basically means we have progressed.

BKI: How has the process of media buying changed because of these new advertising channels?

Lesley: For digital advertising, it is less about negotiation and more about strategic selection of tactic(s). Digital advertising is like a marketing vending machine. With the myriad platforms, creative options, and performance KPIs, the opportunities seem endless – unlike traditional media that is limited by commercial breaks or magazine pages.

BKI: How have a growing number of platforms and digital advertising impacted the way marketers’ find their audience?

Lesley: Largely through the research needed to discover where target audiences are obtaining their news and entertainment. Before digital, you could advertise on television and radio based on Nielsen ratings and Scarborough metrics and have confidence that a majority of the target audience would see it, but today you have people with the same interest or demographic with multiple options of how, where and when to get news and entertainment.

BKI: How can people with the same interests or demographic be so different? Wouldn’t they be more inclined to like similar things?

Lesley: Yes, they may like music from the 80s, but it does not mean they both listen to the local 80s radio station. They may stream audio from a multitude of services. In our digital world with streaming services and various social media platforms, there is a portion of people who use them, a portion of people who do not, and a portion of people who may use one platform but not the other. The diversity amongst the target audience has always been there, but it is now greater.

BKI: From the standpoint of an outsider looking into the media buying industry, it seems like determining the most effective use of a client’s budget could be very complex. Especially when it comes to placement selection and negotiating ad prices with media representatives.

Lesley: It can be. Ultimately, it is about creating value for our client. Cheapest is not necessarily the best option. The goal is to negotiate or buy effective schedules as cost efficiently as possible to achieve stated goals within budget. Successful campaigns depend on a thorough understanding of the media landscape and target consumers’ media habits. Most times nothing is a “must-have” for an ad schedule to be successful. It’s really an art and a science.

For more on the shifts in Media Planning and Buying, connect with Lesley or check out this blog on tangible vs traditional media or this one on the effectiveness of print media.

Prepare to Lose Third-Party Cookies

Prepare to Lose Third-Party Cookies

Woman having conference call

If you’ve been keeping up with digital marketing news, you may already know about the so-called “death of third-party cookies”. Though the biggest change won’t occur until 2022, we’re already shifting strategies to prepare. If you’re looking to get up to speed or just want some ideas on how you can prepare, we’ve put together a quick breakdown.

What are third-party cookies and why are they going away?

Third-party cookies are the backbone of programmatic targeting. Basically, they are placed on your browser by an advertiser and track your behavior, what sites you visit, etc. for the purposes of serving you relevant ads. Unlike first-party cookies, you don’t have to visit that specific advertiser’s website to be tagged.

Consumer privacy concerns and government regulations (like the GDPR) have led browsers like Firefox and Safari to ban third-party cookies already. Google announced they plan to ban them in Chrome (the most popular browser by a mile) beginning in 2022 in an effort to give advertisers time to adjust.

These bans only block targeting and traffic from third-party cookies, not first-party. So, this will mostly affect tracking and will be a huge blow to third-party ad partners.

How can we start preparing for the shift now?

The core strategy we recommend is to shift to building, maintaining or increasing focus on your own first-party database. It can be used not only for sales contacts, internal campaigns or ABM, but also for targeting on the wider internet.

Some other tactics to consider as you prepare for 2022 are:

-Content marketing and SEO can bring in a lot of leads when done right. It takes planning and resources, but when the challenge is finding your audience, the best strategy is sometimes to get them to come to you.

-Start testing other types of programmatic targeting now while you still have your existing campaigns with access to third-party cookies.

-Talk to ad partners with a network of first-party sites and begin testing to see how effective these are for your brand/audience.

-Contextual targeting is going to gain a lot of importance. Relevant content topics may seem obvious, but we would suggest also gathering information from your audience on their online behavior. The right campaign may be able to connect some seemingly disparate topics to your brand.

These changes will cause a huge shake-up for many companies, but there’s no need to panic. Ad partners are already working on alternative solutions (and so is Google). If you approach the problem strategically, it may end up yielding a campaign that gets even better results. This change can be an opportunity to make changes you may never have tried before.

Marketing Insider: Donnie Turlington

Marketing Insider: Donnie Turlington

Marketing Insider Donnie Turlington

For our latest Marketing Insider, we interviewed our very own Donnie Turlington, Director of Strategic Communications, to get the scoop on his role with Bouvier Kelly and what Strategic Communications really means for a brand.


Bouvier Kelly: In your own words, how would you describe your role as Director of Strategic Communications?

Donnie: Being Director of Strategic Communications at Bouvier Kelly is about helping businesses tell their story. Public relations is about positioning brands as a storyteller. As a brand, you want to make sure the story you are telling resonates with your audience and lays the foundation for your reputation. Strategic communications looks at storytelling through multiple communications channels and planning out how a brand is going to connect with its audience.

BKI: What does an agency provide for brands that they may not be able to provide for themselves when it comes to communications? 

Donnie: We can provide guidance, validation, and the execution of ideas. One person or small team may think a certain way, but a marketing agency is an outside source that has done research on best practices for more effective communications. When we collaborate with a brand, we can take their ideas and tell them if we think it will work, how it could be better, or provide a totally new outlook. I‘ve led strategic communications for local and national nonprofits, local government, higher education and for businesses before and I use all of that experience to inform my thinking and guide our feedback and response to assist clients. An agency takes some of the stress off the brand.

BKI: When do you think a brand should consider seeking help with communications? Does it depend on size or the presence of conflict? 

Donnie: People often think of seeking public relations help for a crisis, but really it should be sought out whenever there is a story to be told. Every business, regardless of size, has a reason for doing what they do. When it’s time to get that message out there, it’s best to work with a professional so that it’s well-crafted and reaches the target audience. That message builds your reputation and can also help with what we call “issue management”, which is dealing with a problem before it becomes a crisis.

BKI: How do you decide which strategy is good for each business? 

Donnie: Strategy is most closely aligned with audience. At Bouvier Kelly, we look at communications through channels. Different channels can include various media outlets, social media platforms, face-to-face, email, etc. For each of these channels, the strategy changes based upon the goal as well.

BKI: Wow, so it seems like there’s plenty of variety in your role as well.

Donnie: Yes, the role is constantly evolving. A few decades ago, it was all about websites, news releases, and media relations. We still look at all those things, plus social media, email campaigns, podcasts, etc. There are now more tools for communication in the toolbox which is good because audiences are far more segmented than they’ve ever been.

BKI: What’s the best part about being in this position?

Donnie: Reflecting on the 20+ years that I have been doing this, I have to say that helping people has been my overall favorite part. When you help a brand connect to an audience, it’s really just creating human connections. Looking at brands behind the logo and seeing them as real people trying to make real connections, is what it’s all about for me.

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