PR Experts Kristen Nicholson and Mary Claire Hill break down PR trends for 2022.

2022: Here’s hoping it’s not 2020, too. While the COVID-19 pandemic drastically impacted the news landscape, it putting thousands of journalists out of jobs and dominating content for two years, savvy public relations practitioners know there is more to come in 2022. In this blog, the PR experts at MHP/Team SI identify three trends you need to master in order to survive 2022. 

1. Crisis Communications

Every company knows they should have a crisis plan, but, on average, about half of businesses actually have a plan in place should a crisis occur (much less an updated one). COVID-19 has taught us that we can never prepare for everything, but statistics show that natural disasters are increasing at a rapid pace. In 2022, we can expect more COVID-19 implications for businesses and more natural disasters, in addition to the regular crisis occurrences, such as data breaches, lay-offs, mergers and acquisitions, executive misconduct or death, and more. Additionally, the “Great Resignation” and other COVID-19 factors made clear companies should amp up internal communications protocols to keep employees informed and satisfied.

It’s not enough to assume you’ll figure it out when a crisis hits. In today’s fast-paced world, the difference between success and failure in a crisis is mere minutes, sometimes seconds. Put in the work ahead of time with help from a trusted public relations advisor and be prepared when a crisis occurs. 

2. Influencer and Affiliate Marketing

Creator marketing (also called influencer marketing) is now part of the regular marketing rhythm. 2021 saw a 26.7% increase in sponsored Instagram posts alone, not to mention trends in TikTok and other platforms. Consumer trends are also changing rapidly, as user-created content now accounts for 39% of weekly media hours consumed by Americans. Whether your goal is to build a new brand identity, repair brand image, break into a new market, or simply increase sales, creator and affiliate marketing should be a strategy on the planning table. These tactics will only increase in efficacy in 2022, particularly among the Gen Z audience, two-thirds of whom report following creators and 50% say that they trust their recommendations.

Affiliate marketing is a scary term for some PR pros, but to an open-minded, research-based professional, it’s a fresh solution because, simply, it works. Affiliate marketing is a marketing arrangement by which an online retailer pays commission to an external website for traffic or sales generated from its referrals. In industries such as beauty and retail, affiliate marketing is as normal as breathing. But, in other industries like automotive, agriculture or health care, it’s uncharted territory. 

Whether it’s the hot topic of creator marketing or that elusive feature in an industry publication, the solution is to dive in. Our team is dedicated to data-driven decisions based on case studies and past experience, setting us apart from the rest.

3. Developing a Newsroom Mentality

In 2022, content is king. The landscape changed and the number of journalists declined, making generating engaging content the new currency of the Internet. A strong SEO strategy relies on great content. Control the narrative by creating the content. Develop an internal newsroom mentality, focusing on your owned channels (ie. website, social media, enewsletter, etc.) to offer accessible, accurate and valuable information to both journalists and customers alike and position yourself as a thought leader..

Your owned channels tell a story. Start 2022 with an audit to understand what story yours are telling. Utilize a trusted public relations professional to analyze, adapt and implement authentic, strategic and valuable messaging to tell your best brand story. Need some help sharpening your tools to survive in 2022? Contact MHP/Team SI’s PR/strategic communications team today at [email protected]


Kristen Nicholson