As the public relations (PR) industry in the Philippines is going through a period of major transition while the country is developing and adjusting to the digital age,  it is crucial for PR firms and professionals to be aware about the newest trends and advancements in the industry in order to maintain a competitive advantage in their respective fields.

We had the opportunity to conduct an interview with Toteng Tanglao, who serves as the Communications Director of Comm&Sense, which is recognized as one of the top PR agencies in the Philippines. Our goal was to gain his expert advice on the direction that public relations will take in the Philippines in the coming years, specifically in 2023. He provided a rundown of several emerging trends for us to keep an eye on:

Increased focus on digital public relations 

As more and more customers move online, digital public relations will become increasingly vital for companies that want to reach and engage with their audiences. This encompasses strategies like search engine optimization (also known as SEO), content marketing, and administration of social media.

As stated by Ajina, digital and social media marketing is a cost-effective way for companies to achieve their marketing goals. Facebook has over 50 million registered businesses on its platform, and 88% of businesses use Twitter for marketing, as reported by Lister. Furthermore, several studies state that digital and social media technologies are widely used for creating awareness about public services and political campaigns.

The size of the global digital marketing software market reached USD 65.33 billion in 2022 and is projected to grow at a CAGR of 19.4% from 2023 to 2030. The demand for marketing process automation is driving the growth of the digital marketing software market. The rise of modern advertising strategies such as mobile advertising is also contributing to this growth, driven by technological advancements and changes in customer behavior. 


The Rise of Influencer Marketing 

As consumers become more wary of traditional advertising, influencer marketing will emerge as a viable alternative for companies looking to connect with and interact with their target audiences. This includes collaborating with people who have a significant following on social media in order to promote businesses and services.

According to Statista, Ad spending in the Influencer Advertising segment is projected to reach US$89.94m in 2023. Moreover, the Influencer Advertising segment is expected to spend about US$89.94m in 2023. This is expected to have an annual growth rate (CAGR 2023-2027) of 12.84%, which is anticipated to result in a market volume of around US$145.80m by 2027.


Increased reliance on data and analytics 

PR professionals will track the performance of their efforts and make educated decisions by increasing their reliance on data and analytics. This includes leveraging tools to measure the impact of their initiatives, such as Google Analytics and analytics for social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter.


Greater emphasis placed on managing one’s reputation 

In this day and age, it is absolutely essential for companies to be aware of and respond to any unfavorable comments or reviews that may be posted online. As a consequence of this, reputation management will develop into an increasingly essential component of public relations.

Promoting your reputation can lead to building trust, enhancing the value of your brand, and even attracting top talent for job positions. Similar to promoting your products and services to increase sales and generate awareness, marketing your reputation is equally important.


Greater emphasis on visual storytelling

As social media platforms such as Instagram and TikTok continue to gain popularity, visual storytelling will emerge as an increasingly vital component of public relations. This covers the utilization of photos and videos to tell the story of a brand and engage with the audiences of such a brand. 

According to HubSpot, video is the most commonly used format in content marketing, with 87% of marketers using video as a tool.


Increased reliance on artificial intelligence (AI) and automation 

Public relations practitioners will increasingly rely on AI and automation to streamline and optimize their job as technology continues to improve. This involves utilizing tools to increase communication and reaction time, such as chatbots and sentiment analysis.

A report by Zion Market Research estimated that the global chatbot market will reach USD 9.4 billion by 2024, growing at a CAGR of 27.5% from 2018 to 2024.


Emphasis on CSR and sustainability

With more and more attention being paid to social and environmental problems, businesses will need to have a CSR and sustainability strategy in place that is both transparent and genuine in order to remain competitive. This includes being open and honest about the effects that the company has on the environment and the communities in which it operates, as well as taking measures to reduce the adverse effects and increase the beneficial ones.

According to surveys,emphasis on CSR and sustainability appeals to younger generations. Horizon Media’s Finger on the Pulse survey revealed that 81% of millennials anticipate companies to demonstrate a real commitment to ethical corporate practices. Meanwhile, Gen-Z goes one step further: not only do they prefer to purchase from eco-friendly brands, but they’re also willing to pay a 10% more for sustainable products, as per a recent study.

As Tanglao argues, “Being flexible and responsive to the shifting conditions of the environment is essential to the development of public relations in the Philippines. PR professionals and organizations need to keep abreast of the most recent trends and advances in the market, and they must also be willing to adapt and advance in order to stay one step ahead of their competitors.”

In the end, the future of public relations in the Philippines is going to be all about remaining current with the most recent trends and technologies, being genuine and responsive to audiences, and being open and accountable regarding the influence that the firm has on society and the environment. Those companies who are able to anticipate and respond appropriately to these shifting market conditions will ultimately be the most successful.