The impact of digital advancement on communications and the future of public relations

By Cristela Reyes, Founder and CEO of MarketCross Latam PR Agency

The pandemic has significantly changed social and work dynamics forever, creating new challenges and opportunities for public relations as well. Social distancing measures have rapidly increased the importance of digital and online communication, which has brought endless new ways of doing business in the sector, but at the same time created an environment of more uncertainty, with concerns about health, safety and economic instability.

In this scenario, public relations professionals must be aware of these changes and be better prepared to address them in their communication efforts. Empathy, which has always been a cornerstone of public relations, is now even more fundamental to understanding the needs and concerns of the public and the media, and acting

Greater confidence – and competition – in digital communication

With many people working and socializing from home, there has been an increased reliance on virtual platforms for communication in general. This means a larger audience on all digital channels and platforms, with digital content reaching people who until recently would not have been impacted by this type of content.

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But in a world where everyone is trying to show off online, it takes a lot more effort to stand out. This means that it is not enough just to know how to use new technological resources. Creativity and originality, more than ever, are determining factors for the success of PR campaigns and actions.

The need for adaptability

As channels and forms of communication change and evolve, the need for adaptability becomes crucial. Public relations strategies had to be flexible and adapt to the attitudes and new behaviors of audiences in the digital universe.

In this context, not only is the way of communicating changing, but the very contents and messages put out by companies are being rapidly redefined. Institutional or purely commercial language no longer has the same effect as they had in the past, giving way to more personalized communication, where organizations must seek to
have their own voice, putting themselves in the shoes of their audiences and addressing them with character and authenticity.

Niche communication and influencer marketing

As a result of the need for new communication strategies, certain types of approaches have become much more popular. The use of influencers may be the best example of this. The recent scenario has emphasized the importance of brand purpose and the need for organizations to positively impact society, which has led to greater
collaboration between companies and influencers in cause-related campaigns.

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Not only that, but with big name influencers facing increased scrutiny and competition, there has been a shift towards micro-influencers, who have more niche followings and can offer a more personalized and authentic engagement experience.

Challenges and prospects for the future

If on the one hand there is a world of new opportunities, it is also true that with so much misinformation and mistrust spreading online, it is crucial for organizations to gain and maintain the trust of their audiences, establishing their digital reputation through empathetic, transparent and genuine communication.

The same also applies to the interaction between industry professionals. Digital communication enables interactions with a potentially infinite number of media and journalists, but at the same time it lacks the power of human contact. We have to adapt and be able to foster robust relationships of trust based on empathy.

Additionally, as technology advances, PR professionals will need to keep up with new tools and platforms to effectively reach their audiences. In general, the future of public relations will require adaptability and a solid understanding of traditional and digital communication strategies, always with a more human and empathetic bias.

About MarketCross

MarketCross is the most prestigious international agency for strategic communication, press relations, content and digital services in the Americas. With its own structure in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, United States, Mexico and Peru, and several international awards, we serve our clients in any country in the region under the same methodology, but adapting management to their own reality and the needs of each market, with a unique perspective and strategy for each client. For more information:

Who is Cristela Reyes

Cristela Reyes is CEO and founder of MarketCross. Committed to balancing the world of work and collaborating to build a culture of inclusion and respect, Cristela formed a team made up of 75% women, who occupy management positions in the organization. In addition to being a leader in the field of communication and marketing, Cristela also has a career in the academic world: she is a professor at USAL (Universidad Del Salvador) and was Director of Marketing at IT College, the official Training and Certification Center, for Microsoft, AWS, Cisco and Vmware in Argentina.

Photo: Cristela Reyes, CEO and founder of MarketCross.