The public relations industry in Laos has undergone significant changes in recent years. In the past, the focus of public relations was mainly on media relations and traditional forms of communication such as press releases and press conferences. However, with the advent of digital technology after COVID and the rise of social media, the industry has shifted towards a more integrated and strategic approach, but still has a ways to go.
Social media platforms being used in Laos have provided new opportunities for organizations to connect with their audiences and manage their online reputations, not least of all Tik Tok. Laotian public relations practitioners now have access to a wealth of data and analytics that allow them to track the impact of their campaigns and measure their ROI. However, organizations should not neglect the importance of brand building/development in the early stages of more robust marketing and communications strategies.
Another trend has been the growing importance of content marketing. Professionals are now expected to be able to create engaging and relevant content that not only promotes, but also educates and informs. Brands in Laos are increasingly expected to provide value instead of only broadcasting a commercial message, especially as consumer sophistication continues to grow.
The use of Influencer Marketing also increased and these days is an key part of the brand campaign. Identifying and working with influencers, who have credibility and influence in their field, can help to reach target audiences more effectively and deliver campaigns at scale.
There is still a lack of public relations professionals such as the ones we employ at ERA, in areas of crisis communication, reputation management and issues management, but we see a growing recognition of the importance of risk management and ERA's service in Laos in this regard.
Finally, ERA and our process reflects growing focus on diversity and inclusivity in the public relations industry. This is driven by the increasing awareness of the importance of representation and the need for organizations to be more reflective of the society they operate in.
Overall, the public relations industry in Laos is still undergoing evolution from a focus on traditional forms of communication to a more strategic and integrated approach that incorporates digital and social media, content marketing, influencer marketing and reputation. Technology and societal changes in Laos continue to shape the way communicators employ their craft there.
The public relations industry in Laos is still in its early stages, traditional practices like word-of-mouth marketing and personal networks are still dominant. However, as the country's economy continues to grow and integrate into the global economy, the industry is expected to grow and become more sophisticated, shifting towards a more strategic and integrated approach that incorporates digital and social media and influencer marketing. Government is also putting effort to improve the country's international image which is an indication of potential growth in this industry in Laos.