What will automotive PR look like in ten years’ time?

Don’t be silly, we wouldn’t be crazy enough to answer that, nor do we have a time machine. But what we do know about the future is that the automotive industry is in the biggest shake-up since the switch from the horse and cart to the motor car, and change is afoot. So, looking forward and recognising trends is as important as living in the now.

If we’re not careful, PR teams (in-house and agency alike) can plough into automotive campaigns with blinkers on and run the risk of ‘doing a Nokia’. While phone manufacturers were thinking about smartphones, Nokia was ploughing ahead with Snake II, SMS and not looking at what was right in front of them – the smartphone.

Entering the bandwagon too late when consumers are already onto the next thing is a danger with any industry, but when car owners hold the key to future, automotive PR teams must also move with the times. We at Newspress Creative give you a rundown of the top emerging themes within the automotive PR industry and how they could hold the key to our future.

Change is good

Everything is subject to change, including this blog; but we believe that change, overall, is good.

Autonomous driving is set to be the biggest cultural change for the transport infrastructure since the global introduction of the car in the 20th century. Let’s not forget that the world is heating up thanks to global warming and the way that consumers fuel up and travel is also different to a decade ago, too. 2020 is nearly here and electric power and infrastructure is being heavily plugged in to the media.

But that’s not all, as driving changes so does automotive-focused journalism and in turn automotive PR campaigns. How many times have you heard the words ‘storytelling’, ‘content creators’ or seen the change of women-focused automotive campaigns? Think back to ten years ago. What were PR professionals saying or doing back then? Not that.

There’s a change coming and it’s for quality, not quantity, for everyone.

Quality-driven ‘content’

Rethink the customer magazine and say hello to the social media and online way of thinking about talking to drivers of your new cars. High-resolution photography, properly thought out storyboarded videos and well-made print take-aways is going to be the way forward. Clutter and fuss-free should be your mantras with any campaign, big or small.

Sensory marketing

Targeting specific demographics, sexes or even magazine titles is going to change with PR. Think about changing the way that you think your target market wants to be communicated to.

We’re in a pivotal shift where women and men can be reached out to in the same way, but only if they have the same values and interests. The same can be said for age ranges, just because someone is older doesn’t mean they want to engage in a topic or buy a product because it’s deemed to be for younger people. Use tastes, likes and dislikes to your advantages and try not to pigeonhole people based on their age, background and sex, for example.

Blending marketing and PR to communications

Working together as one, above and below the line is probably going to just be ‘the line’ – one team, one focus, one message. Communications could be the underlining messaging with agencies and in-house teams. It’s refreshing and this change is for good. Let people in and you don’t know what you might learn, or what you can teach someone about your field and discipline. Remember – we’re all working towards the same goal – communicating to people about our cool brand, product or message.

Don’t be afraid, but recognise the change is on its way, otherwise it’ll be a shock when you’re the one still playing Snake on your 3310.