Public Relations and Media Trends to Watch for in 2018
Embracing change in the digital age
In 2017, influencer marketing became an even bigger component of advertising, fake news dominated traditional and social media, and journalism became increasingly automated. Just as fast as we embraced these changes in 2017, we prepare for the next wave of trends that will dominate the media space in 2018. Here are a few PR and media trends we expect to see in the new year:
VIDEO CONTENT WILL RULE
As marketing and PR continue to converge, brands will increasingly rely on video content to best engage with key audiences. In 2017, more content was uploaded to YouTube in 60 days than all three major U.S. networks generated in the last 60 years. With new advancements and capabilities for video in 2018, it will be essential for businesses to develop a video content strategy. Ephemeral content (think Snapchat), and interactive broadcasting like Facebook Live will also be vital for reaching audiences.
ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE WILL OFFER NEW INSIGHT
Artificial intelligence (AI) is already commonly used in PR to assist with tasks like building media contact lists, tracking media coverage and compiling reports. In 2018, we expect PR professionals to embrace this technology to do their jobs more efficiently and effectively. PR News predicts that AI will offer speed, reliable analysis, and even predictive capabilities. It will also make sense of online consumer data, helping marketers predict needs, patterns and possible actions.
THE RISE OF OFF-SCREEN CONTENT
Voice-activated innovations such as Amazon Alexa and Apple’s Siri allow brands to share content beyond screens. For example, the American Heart Association uses Amazon’s Alexa voice service to share CPR instructions and heart attack and stroke warning signs. In 2018, more brands are expected to experiment with this technology to engage with highly-targeted audiences on a new level.
EXPANDED THOUGHT LEADERSHIP
Thought leadership is the act of positioning your brand as a leader in its field by producing content that demonstrates your knowledge and expertise. Organizations have traditionally established top executives as thought leaders, to authenticate and put a face to their brand. In 2018, thought leadership will expand beyond executives. According to Forbes, companies will begin investing in leaders outside the executive suite, which will allow them to target a variety of audiences.
PAID AND EARNED MEDIA WILL CONTINUE TO CONVERGE
Finally, with more brands leveraging influencer marketing and sponsored content as key components of their advertising strategy, the lines between paid media (advertising) and earned media (editorial content) will continue to blur. Media and PR teams will need to work closer than ever to seamlessly collaborate on their content strategy.