How Your Association Can Plan for Successful Marketing and PR in 2023: Part II

By michaeltebo • January 18, 2023

In our previous blog, we discussed marketing trends for 2023, along with some tips that your association can leverage to further your reach. In this second installment, we’ll unpack public relations best practices to get your association more publicity in the coming year.

As the new year begins, many association communications teams are reevaluating their strategies to ensure a prosperous new year. Although capturing audience attention and improving brand awareness are always top priorities, it’s equally important to focus on how your PR strategy should be adjusted to match the changes in the media landscape over the past year.

In 2023, here are four important areas for association PR teams to consider in their planning efforts.

1. Increased Demand for Ready-to-Publish Content

Since 2008, news media employment in the U.S. has fallen 26%, according to Pew Research Center, meaning news outlets have fewer full-time writers and reporters. Further, according to a national survey of editors conducted by Influence & Co., 86% of editors said they plan to increase the amount of contributed content on their news sites. This trend has increased the value of high-quality, contributed content that is ready to publish.

By definition, contributed articles should offer explanations, how-to steps or clear takeaways and use anecdotes and professional experiences to illustrate the main ideas. The contributed content must also be non-promotional, focused on educating readers, and it needs to be professionally edited — the less work required by editors to prepare your article for publication, the more likely editors are to accept a guest submission. For some associations, starting with a local or regional news site may make sense. There are also many top-tier publications that welcome contributed articles from industry experts.

This kind of thought leadership is not just highly effective with association audiences, it can also drive organic traffic and improve SEO back to your website, increasing your association’s overall brand authority.

2. Short-form Video Grows

Short-form video is fast becoming an increasingly important part of any communications strategy. From talent recruitment on LinkedIn to fun and informative clips on Instagram and TikTok, visual storytelling offers a personal touch that is becoming more and more critical, especially when reaching out to young professionals. Both Millennials and Gen Zers prefer to watch videos 60 seconds or less, so being clever about tight storytelling is now essential.

Short-form video can also be used to enhance press releases to increase audience engagement. And it’s not just consumer audiences who are watching video – according to a Forbes Insights Survey, 59% of executives said they prefer to watch a video over reading text.

If short-form video isn’t a part of your overall communications strategy, this year is the time to bring it on board.

3. Social Media Begins a New Era

The days of social media dominance by Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter are numbered. Finicky public tastes make social media darlings like Instagram very cool one day, but suddenly uncool the next. And Twitter’s new ownership and trials and tribulations as it finds its new direction raise concerning issues of content moderation, credibility and online safety. TikTok has dominated the social media conversation among the younger generations, but serious questions about its privacy policies and ownership ties to the Chinese government make its future uncertain, at best.

In the coming year, compelling alternatives will likely emerge to contend with the Big Three of Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Tumblr, Pinterest and Snapchat could also make a comeback. We’re now set to enter an increasingly fractured social media landscape, similar to what’s happened in traditional media. This evolving landscape makes it all the more important for associations to ensure they don’t have all their social media eggs in one basket.

4. Podcasts are Flourishing

Podcasts offer a variety of ways for associations to share their thought leadership. Whether it’s long-form storytelling, interviews or collaborations with industry experts, podcasts provide opportunities to explain their point of view on any range of complex topics with full context. What’s more, podcasts help turn dry topics into insightful discussions, which can further establish expertise with members of your audience who have opted-in for the show. As a rapidly growing medium, expect more associations this year to produce their own podcasts to connect with their audiences.

While we can’t predict what will happen in 2023, one thing is for sure – associations that stay on the cutting edge of trends and tools to reach their audiences and create a positive impact are poised to have a big year.

If your association needs some insight or guidance on public relations best practices, reach out to our experienced and professional experts today!


About The Author

Michael Tebo is the Vice President, Public Relations and Strategy at Gabriel Marketing Group. Reach him at [email protected].