Why PR Is Essential For Emerging Industries

From cryptocurrency to artificial intelligence to psychedelics, there is an array of emerging industries in today’s global marketplace. People are embarking on new conversations and trying to figure out how a new product, concept or technology affects their everyday lives.

While emerging industries have an immense amount of potential, they can face barriers on the way to becoming profitable. Whether it’s overcoming a stigma or having the right consumer education in place, it can be an uphill battle to be known to mass audiences.

This is where public relations (PR) can play a critical role. Emerging industries are often formed upon a new product or idea and, therefore, in the early stages of development, it’s likely that the majority of people don’t know about them. Emerging industries are textbook examples of those in dire need of great PR.

And while emerging industries are often the result of new technology, this is not always the case. Sometimes medical advancements, legal changes, or the revival of a seemingly old-fashioned idea, methodology or concept (think of the farm-to-table culinary movement) can be a catalyst.

The Adoption Of Emerging Industries Relies Heavily On Education

Many ideas that previously seemed outrageous or far-fetched are now commonplace: electric cars, cell phones, social media... the list goes on.

The acceptance and adoption of new ideas don’t happen overnight. So, what is the single most important thing a company in an emerging industry can do? Educate consumers about the product or service and emphasize how it can positively impact their lives. This education is essential to inform consumers in their purchasing decisions. The success of a brand in this space hinges on the mass's understanding and then adopting the trend.

Enter The Power Of PR

All of these things can happen through PR, a pathway to third-party endorsement and earned media. When done right, PR provides an unbiased viewpoint from trusted media sources. Good PR pros have the expertise to:

• Develop key messaging for a brand.

• Strategize the best communication channels.

• Get information to the media in accurate, unbiased accounts.

• Leverage opportunities for experts to be heard.

• Get in the hands/minds of early adopters, trickling down to the masses.

The Reach Of PR Is Limitless

PR is so much more than sending out press releases. Many PR opportunities involve strategic planning, high engagement, open discussions and channels for brands to voice their expertise. This can include thought leadership and bylined articles, editorial opportunities, trusted media relationships and serving at panels, conferences and webinars.

All of the above have very little cost, and unlike advertising (and, in some cases, social media), there usually aren't as many restrictions on the content. PR can bring a much greater depth and breadth than advertising — it’s storytelling with a third-party endorsement, which can deeply impact consumer behavior. 

The Impact Of Two Emerging Industries

One of the markets my firm continues to actively work in is psychedelics. The industry is projected to reach more than $6 billion by 2027, according to Data Bridge Market Research.

This emerging industry is currently dubbed the “psychedelic renaissance,” as the drugs/substances aren’t new, but some of the applications are, due to new laws and changing perceptions. Today, there is a greater understanding and acceptance of psychedelics as a result of the growing neuro-wellness trend. Even the FDA is looking at psychedelics as breakthrough therapies.

With this news, how exactly can a young company in the psychedelics space get moving? Oftentimes, there is great intimidation that comes with vast, uncharted spaces. The success of a company will hinge on how it fills a niche and what tactics can be put in place. This is the time to work on branding, including the development of key messages and points of distinction. Decide what sets your company apart from the competition. Having that identity in place will make it that much easier to execute marketing and PR opportunities. It’s also important for a company to know its audience(s) so that it can tailor its efforts accordingly. Having a marketing plan in place, with goals and a timeline, helps ensure action is taken. Then, KPIs can be studied and adjusted if necessary.

Another emerging industry my firm works with is cryptocurrency. Early adopters have been investing in cryptocurrencies for a decade, but through time and education, many more will do so as the idea of digital currency and its applications become increasingly mainstream.

For any company in this space looking to grow and capture a wider audience, overcoming consumer intimidation is a giant first step. While it’s true that cryptocurrency has a big learning curve, education, access to information and a relatable context can help break through to new audiences. Brands should think outside of industry-specific resources and make sure their efforts are making it into the mainstream. It’s here that new audiences can be found.

As it relates to where and how people get their information, PR and marketing efforts need to address the “lifestyle” arena as much as they address traditional investment and finance. A company also needs to consider its product and service offerings, making sure there are a number of tiers available to consumers, to address the novice, the expert and those who fall in between.

PR Is Incredibly Relevant In Today’s World

PR is not going away. In fact, there is now a greater demand for PR than ever, as more and more brands look for a partner to deliver their message.

If brands want to remain competitive and stand out in the emerging industry space, PR representation is critical. It’s an investment worth making