The Spark

With Instagram updates, more evolutions from Google, Gen Z communication tips and radio on a mission to prove it’s still going strong, we’ve covered a breadth of PR and comms insights in October's The Spark.  Read on to hear what our team of experts thinks of this month's updates.

Instagram adds polls to comments on feeds and live streams

Selected users were previously given the ability to use polls in the comments of the feed and in live streams. This is in addition to the polls already available in DMs and in story posts. And meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg has said it’ll roll out to all users soon.

Polls are a popular way for users to engage with profiles. They allow for a quick response that takes less effort than a comment, yet has more input than simply liking a post. As engagement is an important part of the Instagram algorithm, it would be an intelligent tool to use to give your profile a bit of a boost. 

Lauren Boyles, PR executive

Conversion rate for long-tail keywords improving

As Google has gotten better at understanding semantic search, people are carrying out searches online more akin to how they talk. This is coupled with an increase in voice search, using devices such as Alexa and Siri. As the search engines continue to return better results, the conversion rate of these long-tail searches is increasing. 

Traditional thinking stated that long-tail keywords were used for research, and mid- to short- tail keywords drove conversions, but that balance is beginning to shift. This aligns with Google putting more and more weight on its EEAT principles as a ranking factor. Once again, well-written, highly engaging content is king. 

Carrie Webb, head of content

How to communicate with Gen Z

It feels like there’s a growing divide between Gen Z and the working professionals trying to communicate with them. PR software provider Vuelio has put together a comprehensive guide on how to communicate effectively with Gen Z, ensuring your messages reach this audience in the right place and in the right way. 

Topics covered in the guide include how the media and comms industry lines up in its perceptions of the demographic, which media platforms and social media channels Gen Z use, and takes a realistic look into the spectrum of personas that make up Gen Z. Plus, what the biggest influences and barriers to Gen Z decision-making are. 

Ellie Byrne, account manager

Cutting through the noise: being heard in 2024

The next year is going to throw up an extremely busy news agenda, with UK and US elections, as well as the selection of a new London Mayor, and the Olympics. So how can we ensure our clients’ messages are still being heard? Our top tip is to ride the news, rather than fight it. Proactive pitching of relevant stories and content ahead of the known news cycle is key, as is finding the right angle while remaining authentic to your brand. Remember, PR doesn’t always have to be sales and product led. Journalists receive torrents of pitches surrounding big events and news items and so coming in at a different, yet still pertinent, perspective is essential to landing coverage. And when it comes to unplanned events that dominate the media – such as the death of a royal or unrest in the Middle East — it’s important to reassess your plan completely and decide if delaying or rethinking your campaign is the best option.

Kirstie Wilson, PR account director

Commercial radio gaining ground on BBC

As Prolific North reports, Radio Joint Audience Research (RAJAR) has found that radio continues to be one of the most consumed forms of media, with 88% of the population listening to the radio each week. However, the 49.5 million people that do listen to radio are beginning to shift away from the BBC and more towards commercial radio.

This shift is even more profound on the local level, with a large drop in local BBC radio stations, but a substantial increase in local commercial stations. This means that radio communications, especially on the local level, will be more valuable than ever, but may end up coming at a premium, as radio stations try to cash in on this shift. 

Beth Lunt, account manager

Keep up to date with all the latest in PR and comms and find out what’s got the team talking by dropping us a line.

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Written by Carrie Webb

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