Public Relations in 2019: Exploring the Changing Face of the Profession

January 21, 2019

How is the profession connecting with the trends of the future?

Public Relations or PR is a relatively new industry – or rather, the branding of public relations is new. Its ability to change with the times is one of the ways it has managed to keep current throughout the ages.

In this article, Marina Milic, Account Manager at Acorn Strategy, discusses how the public relations profession is keeping pace with changing times, and outlines how modern trends and technologies can work in sync with PR to create value for forward-thinking businesses.

Across time people have always developed, managed, and sustained relationships with each other, however it wasn’t until the early 1900’s when the industry first became recognised as a profession. Fast forward a few decades, and we hear things like press releases, boilerplates, engagement, earned media, pitches and wonder – what does Public Relations actually do for our businesses today?

PR is an elegant field, using the power of story-telling to gain exposure in publications for their clients, while promoting their reputation. PR specialists keep the public up to date with events, news, promotions using positive messaging, while maintaining a positive relationship between the media, clients, and key stakeholders.

PR professionals use a variety of tools to communicate, from writing a press release, creating a speech for a key speaker, planning special events and stunts to launch a product, writing blogs, managing media relationships, and defending their client’s reputation when the story is bad.

“Public relations uses the power of storytelling to gain exposure in publications for our clients, whilst enhancing their reputation”

What is the Difference Between Public Relations and Advertising?

Public Relations is different to advertising simply because PR experts help create and maintain a positive reputation through public media channels in an unpaid manner, whereas advertising pays to promote a message.

While traditional advertising was effective to promote businesses a few decades ago, today, reading a story written by a credible journalist has a great impact on our decision-making.

The Impact of Digital Communications on the PR Industry in 2019

The PR industry is evolving at a fast pace today with the rise of digital communication channels, and companies have to be adaptive in their approach. That means continuously keeping an eye out for trends, following the right influencers, scanning the environment, and interpreting data – all of which will help their client’s business to grow.

Public relations in 2019

At Acorn Strategy we are always on the forefront of staying up to date with industry trends, and these are some of the activities to look out for in 2019:

  • Artificial Intelligence – the PR industry could benefit from AI taking over media monitoring, research, reporting, and measuring PR impact
  • Virtual Reality – we’re noticing more creative ways of delivering press releases – imagine receiving a ‘virtual experience’ rather than a traditional press release?
  • Social media – continues to be on the rise and the PR industry is already factoring in the power of social media into their strategies to build a lasting presence for their clients
  • Videos – one of the most effective forms of storytelling which generates a stronger engagement level
  • Impact – it can be tricky to measure the effect of a story however the industry is continuously evolving to capture the impact of PR.
  • Influencer marketing – will continue to rise, however businesses have already started to be more selective with whom they work, favouring stronger engagement rates over number of followers
  • Strategy – PR companies are working in alignment with marketing strategy rather than relying solely on media coverage to support their clients

In a rapidly changing digital age, PR is managing to keep pace with the times by continuing to evolve, applying new technologies and trends in order to deliver the best results for clients.

Want to Grow Your Business?

At Acorn we’re here to help you grow and scale your business through insightful and intelligent marketing and communications.  Our PR specialists can help you build the trusted relationships your business needs in order to gain competitive advantage.  Contact us at or visit our website.

Marina Milic is an Account Manager at Acorn Strategy. Marina is an accomplished marketing professional and communicator with over 12 years’ experience within the UAE and is skilled in PR, media relations, event management, strategic marketing initiatives, and launch campaigns with a strong focus on international hospitality and F&B.