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5 important trends reshaping PR and media right now

by | May 11, 2018 | Analysis, Public Relations

The public relations industry will never stop evolving. Shifts in culture, political influence, technological advances, and market trends will all change the way people approach media. Over time, it will become more necessary for PR pros to keep up with several new industry trends and hone their skills.

In fact, media outlets often act as a watchdog of all aspects of compliance and information security risk. As such, public relation is an essential element of security that media outlets can’t overlook.

Here are some of the trends that will define the media and public relations industry in 2018.

Artificial intelligence

AI is slowly becoming an essential component of our lives. Professional, personal, and public relations are all feeling the effects of AI. Much of public relations involves prediction of brand responses and public reactions. Conversely, an enormous part of AI revolves around making forecasts based on past trends.

Even startups with limited backup data, workforce, and computation power expect AI to make a significant impact on their public relations. For example, increased automation of customer service will influence customers’ reactions and perception about upcoming brands. Furthermore, the continued growth of cloud-computing technology will make it easier to access machine learning technologies.

Change of skillsets

Over the past few years, the popularity of a key PR tool—the press release—has declined drastically. However, experts expect the skillsets needed for the success of the media industry to expand over time.

For example, content production will stretch beyond the written word to include visual media. The wide-scale application of smartphones will result in the explosion of visual media as a communication channel. Media outlets will make sure every text-based piece of content has at least one video clip or image. Moreover, data visualization will soon become an entrenched communication medium.

Fragmentation of media

Media fragmentation has slowly undermined the role of media gatekeepers. The loss of trust in top media outlets and the rising influence of unauthenticated news has further fueled the growth of this trend.

Moreover, increased competition in the supply of information along with the increasing popularity of inbound marketing has continued to drive the profitability of media outlets down. That has resulted in further audience fragmentation.

There is no sign that audiences will stop fragmenting themselves into smaller niches any time soon. In fact, media outlets are putting a lot of efforts to make their audience aware of the effects of this trend.

The rise of conscious messaging

The media industry is slowly becoming polarized, and everything including product reviews has become politically influenced. It has become necessary for brands to keep up with social trends and stick to socially conscious public relations practices. Taking a value stance can either build trust with some target audience or alienate others.

However, media outlets often fail to realize how execution can impact their corporate image, especially when they’re introducing a new brand.

Elimination of traditional media relation strategies

The need to capitalize on market trends will have a significant impact on media relation tactics. It will affect how media outlets present themselves to earn public attention. Established media outlets are capitalizing on the newest models of information distribution to raise their public awareness. In fact, tech media houses are spending almost equal time on product review as they spend on political conversations.

Over time, media relations strategies will change to keep up with trends in the media industry. Startups that will not change their tactics to keep up with cultural, social, and political shifts will struggle to earn positive press.

Media fragmentation and artificial intelligence will impact the way people respond and perceive brands. Conversely, shifts in culture in the public relations industry will reshape the way media professionals work.

Even as the media landscape continues to change dramatically, nothing is going away. Public relations is instrumental and integrated into the success or failure of any brand. The more aware a brand is of the prevailing social and political narratives, the better it will perform.

Jeremy Sutter
Jeremy Sutter is a freelance writer and former mobile marketing manager at Adobe.

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