Public Relations (PR) Trends In 2017
Public relations as a strategic communication process anticipates, analyses and interprets public opinions, attitudes and issues that might impact, for good or ill, the operations and plans of the organization with the sole purpose of making useful predictions in order to provide appropriate counsel for management at all levels. The country is going through recession right now and that has put public relations managers on their toes. The recession has brought about an unprecedented change in corporate governance and a shift in the usual way of doing things. Nevertheless some corporate organizations have managed to sail through while others are hiccupping and suffering from terrible dents on their reputation. This trend may continue in 2017. One good lesson out of all this is that we have learnt to curb our excesses.
Here is a sneak peek of what I think would be PR trends in 2017.
There would be a lot of focus on thought leadership. People will look up to executives who beyond their industry can make intelligent remarks about trending topics like politics, the environment and the green revolution, poverty alleviation and sustainability, cyberspace, artificial intelligence and/or virtual reality, their thought leadership will boom in 2017 and this will also have direct impact on the bottom line of their businesses while also increasing their share of voice and markets.
Closely related to this is the reputation of the CEO and this is not unrelated to the ongoing fight against corruption. More than ever before the CEO’s reputation will be influencing consumers’ buying decisions. Social media is awash with disclosure of information, therefore consumers are now in a position to use such information to make judgments that aligns with brands whose CEOs have good reputation.
In the digital world we see a lot of corporate individuals and organizations moving away from URLs that not clearly define who they are or what they stand for. There will be less and of "dot.com" and websites like dot-agency, dot-bank, dot-doctor will be on the increase. According to Katie Linendoll, a tech expert, “new endings such as ‘dot-photography’ (.photography), ‘dot-guru (.guru) and ‘dot-wtf’ (.wtf) are gaining momentum as one of the hottest digital trends because they allow you to design a website URL that is more creative, meaningful and memorable. More and more small businesses and startups are joining what’s been dubbed the “Not-Com Revolution.”
A new trend that I am beginning to see and which may rapidly gain ground in 2017 is that media outlets will be willing to work with any contributor aside from regular journalists who can give them content as long as they can improve their page view and grow their readership. Whoops did I say journalists will become irrelevant? No but there are individual contributors who have vital news about trends and this is what media outlets will be very keen to have.
With the rise and rise of social media, information dissemination is real-time and consumers may not depend on the regular and traditional media to get latest trends on their favourite brands including politicians. It will not be business as usual for those in political positions as more and more people will want to evaluate the achievement of every politician in leadership position especially those representing their interests. In the corporate world there will be more clamour for returns on every investments made. In other words, measurement and evaluation in PR will be required and it will now be a key factor for the success of any PR campaign efforts.
Of course there are other trends for 2017 and I will like to hear your contributions.
Merry Christmas and a Fruitful New Year!!!