The PR landscape is shifting: change before you're forced to

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Reviewed by
17 July 2021 (Updated 13 November 2023)
Public Relations
The PR landscape is shifting: change before you're forced to

The media landscape is constantly changing. Here are the major trends we've seen develop in the changing relationship between company and consumer. Pay heed or risk oblivion.

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This article is an excerpt from ’s book Purpose: First Principles of Effective PR. Download the entire book, for free, here. 

The world we live in is growing louder every day. There are more people, media outlets, and marketing messages than ever before. Communication crosses the globe effortlessly at a speed unrivalled in human history. This digital reality, in which we’re barraged with information every second of the day, has made our attention spans shorter and most forms of communication a lot louder. A new breed of communication and PR is needed. One that has enough substance to make your message last and stand out over time. One that transcends the perception of ‘spin doctoring’ and allows PR pros to fulfill their crucial role in raising public awareness and goodwill.

Consumers have ever-shortening attention spans, ever-increasing expectations of the quality of products and services, and the option to truly engage with and respond to corporate communication. Mediocrity no longer receives attention; mistakes are punished and rarely forgotten. That’s why it’s so important to understand how to communicate effectively. We’ve seen 5 major trends develop in the changing relationship between company and consumer that we think are important to keep in mind.

People demand transparency

Customers are demanding open and honest communication about products and services. They will simply stop paying attention if things are fuzzy or unclear. It’s key to define and communicate the purpose of your company. If your message is not consistent and clear – or worse, dishonest – your customers will start looking for alternatives.

People care about your purpose

Even if your competitors can create an instant copy of your product in this 24/7 digitized economy, they can’t copy the culture and purpose of your company. That’s why it’s crucial to sell the broader idea behind the brand and the impact of your product. Whether it’s a practical matter, such as ecological footprints, or the way your company views its place in society – it all matters. And your customers deserve to know.

People care about what you have to say. All you have to do is tune in. Here's what you should keep in mind when it comes to building a brand.

People want a better experience

People are getting used to richer content. The threshold of what’s interesting has been upped to include multimedia. Designers and writers embellish flat text with images, videos, graphs, and infographics to accommodate shortening attention spans. And viral campaigns thrive on shareability, which in turn thrives on rich and interesting content. If you don’t provide an interesting experience, there’s a good chance you’ll be ignored.

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Everything can be measured

Tracking audience behavior has become easier, and the possibilities have become more and more extensive. These days there’s no shortage of tracking tools, site analytics, custom notifications, and ways to collect data. PR professionals today need to be on top of things and use every tool available to help drive engagement.
There is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to measuring results in PR. However, here is our approach to tracking the success of your campaigns.

People respond to relevant content

Because we are constantly bombarded with information, people will often only react to content that’s specific to the context in which they see it. Different types of media lend themselves to different types of messages. The relevance of your message changes along with device capabilities, referral channels, time of day, the location of the reader, and how well your audience knows you. Sending out personalized and context-specific messages can have a profound impact on the effectiveness of your communication, and it's become a lot easier in this quantifiable world.

The price of doing the same old thing is far higher than the price of change.Bill Clinton

Change before you’re forced to

One thing we know for sure is that the world will continue to change. We believe companies that adhere to these principles are the ones that get noticed and have a real impact on their business. These are the companies that love the changing circumstances because they thrive in them. Being able to succeed where others fail gives them a clear competitive advantage


Sjors Mahler is the Commercial Director at He’s worked with PR and communications teams for 9 years and has organized dozens of meetups and events for the Amsterdam PR community. Sjors has an MSc in Persuasive Communications and specializes in branding, sales strategy, and inbound PR.. Connect on LinkedIn or send an email

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Powerful PR begins with purpose. Here's why: Download eBook