Five PR trends for 2022

27/01/2022 15:47:41
The importance of a good employer brand, being authentic, taking a stand, and keeping the human touch were some of the trends identified at the PRCA 2022 PR trends panel event this month.
Partners Director Monica Green attended the virtual event hosted by the PR industry’s trade body, and shares her views on some of the trends most relevant to our clients.

1.    Employer brand

The UK, and much of the world, is experiencing labour shortages in certain sectors following the impact of the pandemic, which has led many people to reassess their life, including where they work and their goals.

With a million job vacancies in the UK, those who are dissatisfied with their current career are making a switch, so you need to think about how you can boost pay, provide benefits and change your work environment to secure and retain the top talent.

PR can help you to develop your employer brand: identify what makes you different to your competitors and communicate why you’re a great company to work for. Great PR can even help to cut your recruitment costs.

For more on this topic, read our post on why you should never overlook your employer brand

2.    Don’t cry wolf

2022 is the year for businesses to be truly authentic, honest and principled. The panel discussion warned businesses that “claims without evidence will be dismissed without evidence”, suggesting that consumers are tired of disingenuous claims and will not relate to brands that don’t stick to their  pledges and principles.  

PR has a role to play in helping companies to share their vision and values, and to take a stand on the issues that matter to them and their stakeholders.  This will help customers to align with you, create greater understanding and better connections – and ultimately more sales.

Don't cry wolf

3.    Make it make sense


Last year saw the launch of the metaverse, adding another layer to the ways we use tech in our lives.  Many businesses are embracing technology – encouraging customers to download an app, sign up to mailings, scan QR codes, buy online etc.  Automation and tech can be fantastic, but the panel reminded businesses to keep the human touch.  There’s nothing more frustrating than when tech goes wrong and you can’t speak to someone.  This can often lead to social media complaints and damage to your reputation.

Keep listening to your customers and make sure they enjoy a positive experience of your business by combining the right amount of technology with real people.

4.    The year of the “do-say” gap

Tackling climate change and sustainability will continue to be trends in 2022. After all the talk and commitments following last year’s COP26 climate change conference, consumers are feeling cynical  and are now expecting real action.  The time for talking seems to be over and it’s time to “do it and then tell your story”, according to the PRCA panel.

Small and large businesses alike need to share their commitments to sustainability with their stakeholders, communicate the actions they are taking , and demonstrate the progress they are making towards real change.


5.    Be more inclusive

Here at Partners we work in many industries such as construction and manufacturing that traditionally are not as diverse and inclusive as others. This is leading to a real skills shortage, recruitment challenges and image problems.  The panel shared the business benefits of diverse workforces and diverse leadership teams, outlining how being open to learning from others and committing to change can keep your business relevant, buoyant and profitable.

We started work this month with a manufacturing business that launched an e-commerce platform in 2020, delivering replacement parts quickly and easily to maintenance teams who may otherwise face machine downtime while they wait for spares. The platform combines online ordering with the backup of an experienced technical team and has enjoyed a successful first year of trading, with the team preparing to start exporting in 2022. Embracing technology in a sector that is viewed by many as staid or traditional is helping the business remain relevant and attract a more diverse workforce. 

Ask for more help

Not really a trend, but perhaps the best advice we can offer is to ask for help. If you are working on any of these areas and need help to make sure the people who matter to your business are aware of the actions you are taking, we can help. A small investment in professional advice could help open up new opportunities for your business.

Contact us today

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