PR and Communications Trends for 2021

2020 was a memorable year for communications and public relations.

There has been much uncertainty in the world; from the economy to society to toilet roll shortages. However, it can’t be denied that it gave us plenty to talk about, whether it was Covid-updates, Brexit negotiations, lockdowns, vaccinations or tiers, it has been one huge rollercoaster.

Amongst many other important things, 2020 highlighted that we are always at the behest of things outside of our control. This is exactly the reason why the role of Public Relations exists and arguably, why it remains such a critical part of any business (or at least it should be).

Communications, PR and the media industry are set to evolve even further in 2021 and with the chaos of 2020 now behind us, we have put together a few trends that we can expect to see over the next 12 months:

Finding new ways of connecting digitally

As we continue to do our part to stop the spread of coronavirus, many businesses are opting to continue with remote working, as the past year has shown just how effectively employees can work from home. Remote working is now a permanent option for many organisations, a survey of 958 company directors by the Institute of Directors (IoD) has found that nearly three-quarters (74%) intend to continue with increased home-working post coronavirus. Due to everyone turning to remote and flexible working, there has also been a dramatic rise in video conferencing, with which I am sure we are all too familiar with!

The novelty of the Zoom quiz wore off just as quickly as the realisation that this platform would no longer be exclusively for lockdowns or isolation, but for business and work purposes. Connecting digitally has enabled us as communicators to reach a much wider audience across multiple platforms and devices, as well as giving us the ability to save and reallocate budgets into developing projects.

We have found efficiencies in connecting virtually for both business and work as well as personal purposes. In 2021, We can expect that online experiences will become pivotal, whether it’s webinars, conferences, meetings or virtual events – connecting digitally through effective communications will become the new ‘norm’.

PR will become even more important

Throughout 2020, the headlines have been dominated with COVID-19 coverage which has been, let’s face it, largely negative. Although recent news has involved the production and delivery of multiple vaccines, the media industry was crying out for some positive news.

As we powered on through the pandemic, brands and business communication strategies focused on making consumers and audience members feel safer and comfortable with the changing environment caused by COVID-19. Light-hearted, genuine stories such as Captain Tom, who managed to raise more than £33m for the NHS illustrates how a simple idea that captures the imagination can truly resonate and reach people’s hearts and minds.  It also shows that even in this digital age, it’s the people, story and characters that matter.  Captain Tom may even have taken the title of the UK’s oldest ‘influencer’ with the likes of GQ putting him on their cover! Other positive, heartwarming stories, such as care home residents or those self-isolating taking part in pen pal schemes during the pandemic were recognised and won their audience trust by being in the news – which is where the true power of public relations comes into play.

In 2021, we will see the demand for PR and communications services increase, as organisations now understand the true value of earned media, as well as the long-term benefits of having a sustainable PR strategy in place.

Influencer Marketing and Social Media

It comes as no shock that the use of social media increased significantly during 2020.

When the pandemic was in full swing and there was less ‘real-life’ human interaction, we all flocked to social media to socialise with each other and in turn, we saw the explosion of platforms such as TikTok.

According to research published by communications watchdog Ofcom, people are no longer just passive consumers online. The research has shown that two in five adults (40%) and 59% of older children aged 8-15 who use video-sharing apps such as YouTube, Snapchat, Instagram and TikTok are now creating and uploading their own videos, which has been the driving force behind the explosion in short-form, user-generated content and the growth in influencers.

In 2021, we can expect to see a lot more brands and businesses work with TikTok and Instagram influencers in particular, to create authentic content that is easy and quick to digest, in order to help promote their products and services.

Successful campaigns in 2021 will be the ones which have the ability to create a connection between people. More businesses will begin to create their own new social media strategies that communicate their ethos effectively, incorporating Influencers where possible.

The way that brands should work with Influencers in 2021 is to seek out those that share the same values and ethics as they do. Affiliations with influencers should be based on not only the content they create, but who they are as people.

Creativity is the key

Out of the box, wacky thinking and fresh, new ideas sum up the forecast for communications and PR in 2021.

After a year in which the news has been bombarded with negative stories, now is not the time to shy away from experimenting and switching up communication strategies and techniques.

PR and communications campaigns will likely be entirely digital in 2021 and brands and businesses will have to use innovative and creative tactics to communicate and engage with current and potential customers and audience members online.

At Conteur, we offer a host of services that will enable you to reach your target audience and communicate with them in a way that is effective.

Our expert team specialises in PR, video, digital marketing, graphic design and social media and can advise you on the best communication channels to put into practice if you are looking to engage with new and existing customers in 2021.

If you’ve seen the benefits of having a strong communications team in 2021, Why not get in touch with us on 01905 670881 or email us at

PR and Communications Trends for 2021

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