I’ll save the cliches about reminiscing on the past year and looking into the year ahead. When the blog title starts with “predictions,” you get the gist of what it will cover. That said, 2022 was huge for changes in the media landscape. What works today for SaaS PR is vastly different from what worked five years ago, even one year ago. Let’s check in to see how our predictions for 2022 panned out.
- ✅ Less competition for share of voice, more category collaboration –– yep, mapping PR success into overall business goals (usually using the OKR methodology) continues to gain traction over SOV
- ✅ More line of business thought leaders, fewer CEOs –– another yes, media contacts are looking for expertise from practitioners
- ❌ Audio/video formats grow in popularity –– a bit of a miss but not a huge one. Audio is still increasing due to podcasts, while video is staying steady where it is
- ✅ Brand marketing takes center stage & a renewed focus on employer brand –– people want to work for companies that align with their values
To get a pulse on what’s ahead in 2023, I asked my peers what’s on their minds. Here’s what they said.
A flooded market will force marketers to deprioritize news lightning strikes. As journalists’ reception around news events like funding, company growth and product launches weaken with the flooded market, SaaS marketers will focus on long-term brand growth strategies instead of going all-in on flashy lightning strikes. We’ll see a renewed prioritization of more evergreen assets like outcome-focused customer stories, recurring data reports and trends-focused thought leadership to drive brand recognition and clout. – Lydia Beechler, Director of Learning and Development
Media’s town square is fragmenting. If he-who-must-not-be-named does destroy Twitter, it will be challenging to find a hub for journalists like we’ve come to expect. You’ll need to be organized on the best avenue of engaging with the contact, such as the social media site they are most active on or whether they’ve created their own medium domain or substack. While “who you know” doesn’t mean you’ll get a story placed, it will help as your favorite forum is likely changing. – Jake Doll, Vice President of PR
Leverage PR to simplify your value proposition. PR will become increasingly important for technically-focused SaaS brands solving complex problems in 2023. Budgets are still under scrutiny, and the harder it is for you to explain what you do and how it is valuable, the easier it is for prospects to say no. PR offers another avenue to showcase your message in layman’s terms and dig deep into the issue you’re solving and why investing in the solution is necessary instead of three years from now. – Kate Johnson, Vice President of PR
And, of course, I wouldn’t leave you hanging without a PR prediction from me!
Product-focused PR takes a back seat. SaaS PR playbooks from a past life relied on thought leadership that mapped back to the organization’s product, product strategy and differentiators. While I’m not pooh-poohing the value of a byline about how you need to find a [insert your product category] with features [X, X and X] that differentiate you from your competitors, publications are savvier than ever. They’re not interested in this transparent approach to content marketing. More than ever, media is hungry for best practices from practitioners themselves. They want to hear from HR people about HR best practices (not vendors) and CISOs about the latest threats to be abreast of (not vendors). In 2023 we’ll see a marked shift from organizations talking about their product to speaking about themselves and what makes them tick.
If our predictions align with or contradict your thoughts on SaaS PR in 2023, feel free to join the conversation with us on social media. Or, start a conversation with our president Lindsey Groepper, to see how we can apply these predictions to your organization to create PR momentum in 2023!