As we are always asking our clients for their predictions for the new year, we felt it was only fair for us to adhere to our own recommendations and share our own predictions. Here are a few things we think will happen in the world of PR in 2018:
- Contributed content will continue to thrive but outlets will also be more selective about what they publish. Media outlets will sadly continue to shrink in 2018 yet the expectations on the stories -- both in quality and quantity -- will continue to increase. How will editors meet these demands? Contributed content will be one avenue that they take as well as artificial intelligence. Companies can take advantage of this trend by putting their leaders and experts forward with unique perspectives on trending topics but beware. Some media outlets are bucking the trend or reversing previous contributed content programs because of the overload of content that doesn't excite their readers.
- Video, video and more video. Video isn't new but it will continue to be a major force in the industry in 2018. Marketing organizations will produce more video content. Snapchat, Facebook and many other social platforms are making it incredibly easy for anyone to create and publish video. In addition, every news outlets -- not just traditional broadcast -- will have a video component. Video will be everywhere.
- Politics will continue to lead the news cycle. Whether your organization want to be political or not, it is something that PR and leadership teams need to be prepared to be a part of the conversation. From diversity, gender pay gaps and sexual harassment to immigration, taxes and cybersecurity, politics will play a bigger roles in corporate communications programs in 2018.
- Data will be more applicable and more efficient. The debate around use of metrics in PR will continue in 2018 but the ability to identify the most important data points for individual business objectives will become more refined. The opportunity to leverage data for news stories -- whether internal data or third party research -- will continue to grow as well.
- All parts of the news ecosystem will be held more accountable. The whole #FakeNews debate that began in 2017 will result in news organizations, individual reporters, PR professionals and companies alike making sure they do their due diligence around news stories and announcements. Have we thought about all angles and prospectives? How will this be interpreted? Am I being honest or just trying to create spin? Breaking news and the 24/7 news cycles won't die but people in the ecosystem will think twice and review their materials more thoughtfully before pressing "publish."
- Funding announcements will slow down. There a couple of reasons for this slow down. First, with a consolidation market picking up speed, the announcements will start shifting from funding to merger and acquisition in nature. Secondly, thanks to the tech unicorns, the press are not only overwhelmed by the number of funding announcements they receive but also the bar for what they will cover is significantly higher. Sadly, raising a million dollars on its own isn't newsworthy to most reporters.
- Press releases will finally take a backseat to other options. Press releases still have their purpose, especially for publicly traded companies and for search engine optimization, but other than that, they will finally be replaced as the primary distribution channel for company news. Other outlets like Medium, LinkedIn and company blogs will take the lead and offer companies more flexibility and control over how they communicate with their stakeholders.
What are your predictions? Did we miss any? Share your thoughts in the comments.