From ChatGPT to the Greater Bay Area: 5 PR trends shaping 2023

Media OutReach Newswire - 08 Mar 2023
Trend watching is never an easy task, but last week four of the PR industry’s top strategists sat down for a lively panel discussion on the key trends that will shape communications in the Year of the Rabbit. Hosted by industry association PRHK, we learnt why the Greater Bay Area, ESG, artificial intelligence, influencer marketing and employee communications will dominate headlines in 2023.

1. The Greater Bay Area

Topping the list for 2023 is the Greater Bay Area – a region of more than 70 million people from Hong Kong, Macau and nine Guangdong cities with a potential GDP of more than US$1.6 trillion.

With China reopening its borders open and scrapping all Covid-19 restrictions, businesses are looking at the GBA region with renewed focus on the opportunities and challenges this economic powerhouse of innovation and technology presents.

Julie Chiu, executive director and head of marketing communications at DBS Hong Kong, described the GBA as a massive economic and social development project that Hong Kong is well-positioned to play a key role in.

But marketing to consumers across these borders will not be easy

Communications professionals must adapt to different social media channels and find new ways to engage people who travel across the GBA region for business, leisure, tourism and lifestyle.

“GBA is an opportunity, but it poses a lot of challenges to Hong Kong marketers and PR professionals,” she said. “We need to put the right resources in place with the right people, the right agency partners, the right channels and gradually build on that experience.”

2: Employee Communications

Like the GBA, Simeon Mellalieu, partner and client development director Asia Pacific at Ketchum, said employee communications would be critical in the year ahead – especially as work cultures adapt to a post-Covid world.

“The nature of how we work and where we work has changed,” he said. “Employee communications used to be this thing that other people did, it didn’t really come into the corporate communications folder. That is definitely changing.”

Mellalieu said building and holding on to corporate culture and keeping staff motivated will be a central part of employee communications.

“We’re all working hybrid. Everybody is totally reforming and restructuring how they’re operating. Employee communications will be a big part of that.”

3: ESG

The third big trend, not surprisingly, is the area of ESG, or Environmental, Social, and Governance.

ESG has grown in importance over the past few years and is set to continue into 2023. Investors are increasingly looking for companies that are committed to sustainable and responsible practices, as are employees.

Businesses that want to stay ahead of the curve must be transparent about their ESG practices and that they are actively working to reduce their environmental impact and promote social responsibility. Companies that demonstrate a commitment to ESG will be more attractive to investors, potential employees and customers alike.

4: OpenAI and ChatGPT

Already a hot topic in 2023 is the rise of AI and the Microsoft-backed ChatGPT. For Nancy Wong, senior PR and communications manager at Sotheby’s Asia, artificial intelligence, ChatGPT program will dominate headlines in 2023.

ChatGPT launched in November last year, but its parent company OpenAI is already valued at US$29 billion. Users have responded in equal measure. It took Twitter two years to gain 1 million users and Facebook 10 months. ChatGPT took just five days.”AI is changing the face of every industry,” Wong said.

“But I feel like in many ways this technology is going to empower people. ChatGPT can write press releases in seconds and you can create social media posts, but AI is only as good as the human input.”


5: Influencer marketing

Another trend that looks set to stay is influencer marketing. Miuson Chi, general manager at MSL Group, said social media platforms like Instagram have created a new generation of influencers who are able to reach massive audiences with their content. As a result, influencer marketing has become an increasingly important part of many businesses’ marketing strategies.

But a good influencer strategy requires a balance of awareness and conversion metrics and businesses will need to be strategic in their use of influencer marketing. Brands will need to choose influencers who are a good fit for their brand and who have an engaged audience that aligns with their key demographics.

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