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Considering that 2022 closed out on a low note, with economic uncertainty and widespread layoffs, it's safe to say everyone is hoping for a less turbulent and more prosperous year in 2023.

In the corporate world, a public relations team plays a vital role in making that prosperity a reality, helping companies navigate uncertain times by managing their brands and messaging in real-time.

Using smart strategies, PR professionals work to maintain companies' brand presence so when the economic climate improves (and it will), brand reputations are intact.

As the business and economic landscapes continue to evolve, our strategies and tactics as public relations professionals must evolve, too. Here are five trends your PR team should capitalize on to make 2023 a better year—perhaps even your best year yet.

1. Executive Social Media Management

The CEO and other executives are the public face of the company and a key part of its brand persona. Customers, the media, and even current and potential employees look at them as the personality of the company, setting the tone for its culture and industry expertise.

Having a robust and authentic executive social media presence humanizes your brand and makes your company feel accessible and relatable, both internally and externally. It can also be an important factor in recruitment and retention, as well as in managing public perception.

In 2023, LinkedIn influencers will become more popular as corporate leaders use LinkedIn and long-form personal posts to share their insights and positions on industry and societal issues. Look beyond the CEO: Promote other members of the C-suite as subject matter experts on social media. That approach demonstrates company expertise and projects an image of a well-rounded team to stakeholders and audiences.

CEOs are only as good as the team around them, so highlight your company's breadth of knowledge.

2. Glassdoor Management

Talent recruitment and retention are still a huge challenge for companies across all industries, even as the tech sector lays off staff en masse. The first place that potential new hires look when considering a new employer is Glassdoor, a public platform where current and previous employees can review and rate your organization. Many prospects won't even apply if the feedback there is negative.

Although organizations view Glassdoor management as an HR function, it's really a brand management effort. The PR team should be actively involved in the Glassdoor channel to monitor for and respond to negative (and positive!) feedback, especially if a layoff is in the works.

How you handle that process—and any other crisis—plays a crucial role in your employer reputation and recovery, and PR should be involved whether it's one disgruntled employee or a 10% reduction in the workforce.

3. Competitor Monitoring

Considering the way our economy is headed, there's a good chance a lot of companies may need to pull back on their marketing or product development efforts. Staying in tune with those developments allows the PR team to capitalize on opportunities to differentiate in the market.

Keeping a pulse on what products your competitor has announced will provide you with insight into how it is adapting to innovation and market need. New customer announcements will highlight the company's need for more credibility and validation for its sales team, whereas a new workplace award will uncover its motive to attract and retain talent.

Digging into what your competitor is doing—or not doing—can uncover a variety of ways to move your own strategy forward.

4. Speaking Engagements

Now that COVID fears are subsiding, events will be returning in full force. As they gain momentum, speaking at industry conferences, meetups, and panels is a great way to maximize your executives' exposure in the market.

During the pandemic, when everyone suffered from Zoom fatigue, it was difficult to show ROI or even accurately measure the engagement of attendees for virtual events. Guests could log on and log back out seconds later.

For in-person events, attendees have made a much bigger commitment, investing in flights, hotel accommodations, and tickets. Audiences are much more engaged and attentive. That bodes well for winning their favor with an insightful how-to speaking session or a hot take on a trending issue.

5. Robust ROI Reporting

Demonstrating the value of PR and marketing efforts is essential for justifying continued investment. You should be measuring and optimizing ROI no matter the circumstances, but when times get lean, marketing and PR tend to be the first budgets to get cut.

Proving the value of media placements, social engagement, and other outreach efforts helps protect your budget and also allows you to capitalize on the previously mentioned opportunities while your competitors shrink back.

In addition to the insights I glean from Google Analytics, I love to dive deep into PR Newswire's Release Watch Report for announcements. By using visitors' IP addresses, PR Newswire is able to pull metrics from identifiable organizations who viewed your news releases.

Keeping a client's overall strategy in mind, that allows you to better understand which companies are taking note of your client's achievements, especially those on your radar for partnerships or potential deals. For example, if a key prospect is looking at your announcements, the PR team can directly connect the press release and outreach strategy to business objectives.

* * *

It's easy to get discouraged by a barrage of bad news—whether layoffs or inflation—especially if your company is at the forefront. But a well-designed PR strategy that uses new channels and trending opportunities can give your brand a strong advantage over the competition and elevate your team's work as an essential component of business resilience and growth.

More Resources on PR Trends

How Comms and PR Work Is Changing

Five PR Strategies for Brand-Building Through the 2022 'SaaSacre'

PR Industry Survey: The Tactics and Skills Rising in Importance

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Top 5 PR Trends to Watch in 2023

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image of Nicole Paleologus

Nicole Paleologus is a managing director at Next PR She's a PR News Agency Elite award winner who focuses on ways to help clients outshine competitors and show the ROI of PR.

LinkedIn: Nicole Paleologus