Another year, another set of challenges: is it make or break for the PR industry in 2018?

Another year, another set of challenges: is it make or break for the PR industry in 2018?

2017 has been a big year for the PR industry. Not only did we witness myriad crises, campaigns and the odd fall from grace, but a number of new trends also emerged. Live-stream video, for example, grew in popularity as did the use of influencers to drive engagement.

2018 looks — at least on paper — like an unprecedentedly good setup for the PR and marketing industry. But behind the scenes, the industry appears shockingly vulnerable.


Micro moments

Information can be accessed faster and faster with the use of smartphone applications, notifications, and social media. According to Huffington Post, 55 per cent of the time people use their smartphones, they do so in short bursts of 30 seconds or less. Look at how US President Donald Trump communicates with his millions of followers. Bite size sound bites are what he does best, even if the content isn’t exactly worth reading. But he grabs the attention of his audience by drip feeding tiny bits of information on a regular basis. With information being accessed in these “micro moments”, content and platforms will have to develop in a way to gain consumers’ attention in 30 seconds or less.


Keep your friends close…

The lines between PR, social media, digital marketing and advertising are certainly blurring making it necessary to work across multiple platforms to give your brand’s the full experience. Social media strategies in particular need to be addressed. What’s the point of pulling out all the stops for your biggest campaign of the year only for it to end up getting destroyed by a few rotten comments on social media? Social media these days is a full time job so everything needs to be monitored, reviewed and actioned on a 24/7 basis.


Dark destroyers

Not everything in the world is sunshine and lollypops and unfortunately, the online world is where today’s real bad guys tend to lurk. While we have seen the rise of consumer power, there is something much more pernicious and deadly that must be tackled head on – the dark web. These people are deliberately out to damage your brand and sabotage your campaigns. The dark web is where the major PR crises in 2018 will surface. Data breaches (think Yahoo!), financial information and counterfeit sales – they all exist on the dark web. By being savvy and security conscious, PR professionals can be alerted to major PR risks like these before they become headline news.

The PR industry is more exciting than ever. These trends are just a few of the many changes we at Alston & Clayden expect to see in 2018. No matter how big or small your business is, these trends can impact how you market yourself. Interested in giving your brand a boost? Get in touch with us today.