PRedictions for 2019. Have you thought of THAT?

As PR practitioners, our job is to think about all the possible scenarios that could impact our clients’ businesses. Often, that means trying to predict the future.

So, with a bright shiny New Year ahead, below is our list of communications predictions that marketers will want to watch (and consider!) in 2019…

DIY

As newsrooms continue to shrink, the lines between earned, owned and paid media will continue to blur. Brands now have many more Do-It-Yourself options.

  • Influencers, native advertising (long-form sponsored content) and other content partners will be increasingly important as third-party endorsers.
  • The social web is democratizing communications, making us all journalists…and publishers. Brand journalism provides a way for companies to create and curate news and narratives that impact credibility and authenticity.
  • More than ever, PR needs to reinforce that it is more than just media relations. In the shift from releases to relationships, good PR must create content for both media and constituents across multiple channels.
  • Say No to “fake news.” Marketers need to be hyper-vigilant and super-specific with statistics and research to instill and maintain trust.

Measurement

With new tools and technology comes a new focus on ROI.

  • From Cision and Meltwater to the new Google Data Studio, the need for tech tools to slice and dice SEO, social and web data will be essential in 2019.
  • Other important measurement metrics will include lead generation, sentiment, popularity and of course, positive/negative insights.
  • Listen, learn and lead. Results will be captured in more proactive and purposeful social listening.

CSR –

Corporate Social Responsibility has always been a key reputational element in any communications program. In 2019, we predict it will take on an even greater role.

  • CSR programs must be measurable and align social impact with employee engagement and business objectives.
  • Good CSR programs start with strong employee communications and are grounded in authenticity.

Change is relentless and more than a little intimidating. For PR and Marketing professionals, the advent of social and digital technology has changed our industry more in the last 15 years than in the first 100. From social media and online influencers to Artificial Intelligence and Augmented Reality, technology has created marketing game changers and new ways to make a creative impact. Communications and marketing professionals must keep pace through broadly integrated campaigns.

In 2019, now more than ever, the role of PR is to think ahead and be open to the evolving role of communications in order to be a good partner…to busy media, to influencers who can become brand advocates and especially to our clients as they navigate inevitable business change.