by Megan Maistre
Public relations (or PR) is fundamental to building and maintaining a brand’s reputation in Malta – especially given the island’s close-knit community and unique business landscape. Good PR not only promotes your company’s brand image, but also enhances and protects it. And the stakes are high, because if you employ the right PR strategies at the right time, you’ll maximise opportunities to grow your brand.
Keeping up to date on the latest industry trends is vital. We live in an interconnected world of technology and social media where trends peak and decline at unprecedented rates. Consumer concerns are not the same as they were five years ago, which is why good PR is on the ball, employing strategies that resonate with current audiences. PR strategies that tap into current trends – both globally and locally – can provide invaluable brand coverage.
But remember that the opposite is also true. Out-of-touch PR will damage your brand’s reputation, which is why we’re bringing you the top three PR trends for 2023 that will boost your brand’s presence in Malta.
Influencer marketing has become crucial to good PR – a trend that will continue in 2023. By reaching the audience of a trusted influencer, your campaigns will build brand engagement and ultimately drive sales.
In particular, micro-influencers with followers on TikTok and Instagram enable companies to tap into niche markets that may otherwise be inaccessible. The future of social media apps, however, remains unpredictable, so you should invest in influencers who can promote your brand message to audiences on any platform they move to.
But who is an influencer? An influencer includes anyone with a following whose opinions you can trust, even if they’re not traditionally famous or have the audience size of a celebrity. The right influencer has credibility and the potential to sway their audience’s opinions. An influencer’s outreach can attract new website visitors or social media followers for your company, and therefore new leads and, ultimately, new clients.
To fully leverage influencer marketing, PR teams need to understand an influencer’s audience and content. You must also get to know who (or what) influences your current audience, and collaborate with your influencers to build mutually beneficial relationships.
In 2023, a solid understanding of TikTok and video-reel creation is essential. By using video, a company will reach audiences on the most popular platforms and drive brand engagement. Short-form video, especially, goes hand in hand with any influencer marketing strategy. From recruiting potential influencers on TikTok to making content for Instagram reels, being familiar with short-form video content is particularly vital when targeting Gen Zers who grew up on YouTube.
Social responsibility revolves around EDI (Equality, Diversity and Inclusion), CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) and ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) goals. Companies are increasingly being called out for insincere efforts to align themselves with these initiatives, thereby damaging their brand reputation.
Consumers have become much more socially conscious, and they want the companies they invest their money in to be the same. High-profile global events, such as the Black Lives Matter movement, have pulled social responsibility into the foreground, forcing organisations to become transparent about brand ethics and their response to social issues. Even in Malta, movements calling for justice in the face of impunity and for constitutional and legal changes to protect fundamental civil rights have compelled companies to engage in social responsibility and show where they align themselves in social discourse.
Long-standing global brands found in Malta, including McDonald’s, Coca-Cola and Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream, have all protected their brand image by issuing proactive statements and remaining consistent with their involvement in social movements. By doing so, they have strengthened relationships with their customer base.
On the flip side, however, being performative in social responsibility has also led to the downfall of some companies. There is a fine balance to be struck, which is why having a knowledgeable and skilled PR team is crucial. Companies must dedicate PR resources to navigating around the increased need for transparency while also protecting and enhancing their brand – and this is where authenticity wins the game. Companies that show how they are positively and genuinely impacting the planet, their employees and their wider communities are the ones who stand to succeed in 2023.
Do you need an expert hand to help you navigate the ever-changing PR landscape to your brand’s advantage? Reach out to Finesse today and our trend-savvy, dynamic PR team will get your business noticed in 2023 and beyond.
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