Defining Coming Trends in Public Relations
by Michael Doyle
Looking back on the last several years of the Covid-19 Pandemic,
it is great to see this crisis mostly in the rearview.
It was just as the world entered this era that I had taken early
retirement from my position as a Legal Instruments Examiner, at
the Department of Veterans Affairs. Precisely, February 29, 2020,
was the date I retired. I had every intention of buying
an RV and traveling across the United States of America to
photograph and write about the scenic beauty, historical sites,
and the mixed and varied cultures that make up this great
nation. With the pandemic erupting across the world, including
this nation, I put my mind to other thoughts and decided to
attend Purdue University to study mass communication.
The transmittal of Covid-19 and its variants was concerning
at that point, that decision was amended to attending Purdue
University Global to minimize the risks. With that revision
in process, Plan C became to pursue a Bachelor of Science in
Communication as way of studying mass communication without
incurring the risk of exposure. These studies were begun
August 26, 2020, with graduation achieved on March 14, 2023,
with the degree accomplished with honors (magna cum laude).
Of those areas that interested me the most in the studies,
one of these areas that was most intriguing was public
Now that I have graduated, and am waiting for the commencement
ceremony, my mind has wandered into the desire to find out
what the contemporary concerns and issues are seen as most
pressing at this time. The defining questions beginning with
just what trends are expected in the near term future.
Doing a bit of research on these topics, there seem to be
1) The ESG Movement will continue its growth. More companies
are embracing the concept of ESG (Environmental, Social, and
Corporate Governance). As these companies mandate that their
corporate policies support environmental and social measures,
these have increasingly become seen as viable measures to
gauge solid corporate stewardship. Mostly, it happens to be
for the world itself too. There can be missteps such as the
recent Budweiser Light fiasco, but by and large, many
consumers consider this to be a good turn in corporate
policies. The ESG score will be seen to define how these
corporations are perceived. Perception is 85+% of what makes
a good company an example of excellence. Being seen as
excellent keeps a company on the cutting edge and most times
drives a healthy, growing profit margin. That is, if one
watches the missteps such as taken by Budweiser Light and
not misgauge the customer base.
2) The Mindset of the workplace will continue to change. With
changing demographics comes five generations with individual
sets of factors complicating that mix of workstyles.
Incorporating millennials and Gen Alpha (between 11 and 25)
brings different paradigms to the workforce that require
engagement strategies to absorb styles, needs, desire and
perceptions about work-life balance. This will only continue
to shift with the workforce inclining toward these mindsets.
It will also require accepting the changing needs and
inclinations of older workers.
To start with, there is an increasing need to accommodate
mindsets that desire to work from anywhere it chooses to
work from as long as the work is able to be appropriately
accomplished. That is to say corporate culture is becoming
increasingly on-screen. Work-from-home, hybrid schedules,
and in-office work routines are increasingly a matter of
choices that work for the employees as much as the traditional
ideas of corporate culture. This will only continue to evolve
as millennials and Gen Alpha continue to grow as a larger
part of the workplace demographic. Those companies that can
adapt to these changes most will accordingly thrive best.
3) Technology will continue to be the strongest driving force.
Anyone older than the millennial generation will be deeply
aware of the changes that technology has brought to life
including the workplace. The sheer number of different
communication tools existing today conceivable only the
wildest dreams a short time ago. We now have Zoom, email,
and text (available on multiple applications from Googlechat,
to Whatsapp, to Telegram. In addition, the plethora of
social media tools has enhanced communications, however
problematic these can sometimes be in a wide variety of ways.
the useful social media tools are Facebook, Instagram,
Linked-In, YouTube, and Twitter. With all of these
communication tools comes the challenge of deciding which of
each of these tools is the best channel to communicate
with consumers, stakeholders, and other target audiences.
It will be up to trusted public relations personnel to best
advise which of these choices will best enhance the brand
message in the right time and way needed per individual
4) All of this leads to the need for Public Relations to
continue to evolve. While public relations grew from the
"news" perspective, the communication spectrum has grown
immensely. Companies and brands are running internal and
external newsletters, funneling articles and news releases
and otherwise essentially marketing the brand layers in a
number of channels. This includes sponsorships, social
media, and the wise use of social media influencers. This
is say almost nothing of strategic communications and crisis
management. These blended services require a holistic
approach and this trend will only likely increase as time
Our world and its continuous changes will require public
relations personnel to adapt to the a spectrum of evolving
perceptions and use the available tools wisely. It is a
never ending process of being able to skillfully guide
companies and other brands deftly to face the coming
changing and trends unique to their cultures and needs.
It is an exciting time for all. Are we ready for this?
(c) April 17, 2023 Michael Doyle
All Rights Reserved
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