The PR industry has had quite a year! Let’s face it: after 2022,  we have seen how adaptable and dynamic PR pros are. The last 12 months have seen the industry evolve to find new creative ways to meet this year’s challenges and get results.

To help prepare for 2023, Made By Giants has been asking #WhoTheTech do you think you are?” as part of our GIANT 2023 creative planning playbook. If you haven’t read it yet, do so ASAP. We’ve broken down five tech brand types and how each one can use creativity to connect to growth – Category Creators, Disruptors, Category Multipliers, Evolutionaries, and Refreshers.

Like many industries, the PR industry has been influenced by global events, changing consumer behaviours, and technology. I’m going to share some of the GIANT PR trends for 2023, with our tech brand types from the playbook in mind, so make sure you’re well-versed and ready to discover what your brand type should be when prioritising PR in the coming year.

Let’s get started.

1) “Woke Washing” 

Since the pandemic, a whopping 86% of people expect brands to take one or more actions beyond their product and business. This shift has signalled to brands that they need to demonstrate their sociopolitical credentials and align their brand purposes to causes their customers and stakeholders care about, and intentionally become a force for change.

Sounds like good news, right? Unfortunately, a growing number of brands are less committed to society than they claim – and this is called “woke washing.”  Woke washing is when brands appear to care about a social issue, but the evidence doesn’t stack up, all in a bid to generate profit and brand equity.

The fashion retail sector is a good example of woke washing, where brands are falling short of their climate responsibilities. The result of this is a significant detrimental impact on brand trust.

The challenge for brands is understanding how to align their brand purpose to societal causes. Greenwashing, diversity washing, sports washing, and rainbow washing are all examples of what could happen when brands mistake consumerism for activism. So buckle up: we are set to enter a new era of brands hijacking purpose-driven marketing – just make sure your brand lives and breathes any claims it makes.

#WhoTheTech is this for? Category Creators, Category Multipliers, and Disruptors.

2) More B2B funding means more talent wars 

Although venture capitalist (VC) investment globally declined for the third straight quarter in Q3’22, funding levels have remained resilient across some B2B tech sectors, including capital-light enterprises in software.

According to Earlybird Venture Capital in a McKinsey report, investors are much bolder and relentlessly invest in growth in B2C businesses in the US. In B2B, however, European start-ups are excelling due to what they see as the region’s technological advantage and the early value creation that comes from customer relationships. The report goes on to reveal that European B2B start-ups have better funding efficiency because they generate more value per invested capital.

As B2B brands continue to seek creative ways to connect to growth, their biggest challenge is finding the necessary talent to execute their objective, particularly as more funding is pumped into the B2B sector. Competition is fierce.

For instance, more than half (57%) of B2B marketing leaders have found it hard to recruit talent to work in martech or marketing operations, saying that the market needs marketers with the required martech, data, or marketing ops skills and knowledge.

This challenge will continue to intensify in 2023 as businesses compete for the best PR and marketing talent. As a result, B2B brands and their agency partners need to invest smartly in professional development and talent retention initiatives to secure the much-needed B2B professionals to build brands, creativity, and growth, particularly those that operate in specific B2B niches.

#WhoTheTech is this for? Category Creators, Category Multipliers and Refreshers

3) Marketing and PR converge (even more)

We’ll continue to see a convergence of the PR and marketing disciplines as more platforms come of age, carrying the messages that drive growth.

So what does this mean? As more customers and clients engage with brands online through apps, social media, and across the web, brands will need an integrated approach to drive growth and brand awareness in a competitive space. For PR pros, this means thinking carefully about different platforms’ role in the overarching marketing strategy and how to integrate storytelling to ensure teams (and by implication stories) don’t operate in a silo, particularly those in larger enterprises.

So, whatever happens on Musk’s Twitter, numerous other digital platforms will enable PRs to create new opportunities and creative ways to optimise brand storytelling online. Whether it’s Mastodon, the metaverse, or Reddit, marketers will not be short of new options to reach their audiences.

#WhoTheTech is this for? Evolutionaries, Refreshers, Disruptors

4) Meaningful AI introduction

AI evangelists have long predicted the emergence of AI in marketing. Now, finally, the advancements of AI-powered tools will augment our industry in a meaningful way. While AI is a long way from taking our jobs, it can be used to optimise and augment what we already do.

For example, AI copywriting tools allow PR and marketing teams to create content in multiple languages quickly and efficiently, accelerating go-to-market campaign cycles, particularly for SMBs.

Additionally, AI is set to reimagine how we organise how we work, create content and, particularly, target audiences. Audience-targeting software is a game-changer for marketers and PR folks as it enables us to gather large volumes of data on customer behaviour efficiently and quickly. The increasing number of AI-derived data points will provide PRs with the ability to develop highly-targeted and personalised campaigns that can move the needle for B2B clients. This is particularly important for brands in highly competitive and homogenous markets.

#WhoTheTech is this for? Category Creators, Category Multipliers, Disruptors

5) Measurement Mayhem

For some time, PR pros have tried to develop new ways to measure what we all do with varying success – and in a year where showing value is more prominent than most, you’ll see measurement playing an even more active role in PR discussions. From our experience, the main challenge for PR practitioners is how B2B tech defines success. For example, many RFPs point to general brand awareness as a key priority, but ask any CFO if that’s enough to justify or protect the PR budget, and you might get a different answer.

As B2B tech PR budgets are reviewed for 2023, you’ll see more questions about how PR slots into the strategic needs of the business, and if it should be measured in a more sophisticated way to show clear value, whether that’s by lead generation, website demand, the share of search, recruitment levels, or more funding (to name a few).

With a demanding year ahead, B2B brands must move beyond vanity metrics to drive meaningful business goals.

#WhoTheTech is this for? Everyone!

2023 is just around the corner. Is your brand strategy ready for the coming PR trends? Do you need a brand strategy for 2023 to support growth plans? Email