Public relations is the subtle art of convincing a readership about the goals and ambitions of any business or organization, and this relentless push for marketing communication is all set to witness a transformation in 2018.
The whole objective of public relations becomes interesting this year, as social media once again threatens to change the fundamentals, while AI and automation are pushing the boundaries, and enabling a new world of communication.
Here we present 4 major trends for 2018, which advertisers, publishers and digital-age entrepreneurs should be aware of:
As the world becomes more connected, and everyone turns into a publisher, the problem and menace of fake news will become even bigger, and more prominent in 2018. Different versions of fake news have already affected US elections, and Facebook has been invaded before with false news, in order to create propaganda.
In the wake of this, the PR industry will have to work extra smart to avoid the trap and to ensure that their clients are protected from the evil effects of fake news.
Although Google, Facebook and others are coming out with ‘tools’ and ‘mechanism’ to weed out fake news, the problem is persistent, and as per a recent Pew Study, 51% of experts admitted that fake news won’t go away so soon.
Can the PR industry solve this problem in 2018?
PR In The Age of Social Media
One of the biggest and most prominent problems which PR industry has been facing ever since Orkut and Facebook caught our fantasies: How to ensure that good ol’ PR juice keeps flowing, even in the age of social media? When the news first appears on Twitter, instead of a TV channel, when Facebook shares convey the message better than a newspaper headline, what exactly is the role of Public Relations in the age of Instagram hashtags and Facebook Live Videos?
A deeper understanding and evaluation of PR needs to be done in 2018, and it needs to be aligned with the concept of social media so that both can exist peacefully.
Traditional businesses are aware that PR cannot be replaced, but they also know that social media is here to stay.
The solution lies somewhere in between. Maybe 2018 shall have that answer.
Influencer Marketing Revolution
There is a widespread debate over the very relevance of influencer marketing in 2018: Should Instagram hotshots with 15,000 followers but very less original content be given more preference than a Twitter user with just 3,000 followers, but the high-quality content and thinking to be given more preference?
Should food bloggers with millions of fans on Facebook be treated on-par with a food journalist who has slogged her life’s 15 years covering the ‘beat’ of food and recipes for reputed news-paper?
This strange confluence of modern and traditional media outlets, coated with the polish of PR makes it even more interesting.
Will 2018 witness new heights for influence marketing or will the industry change the whole concept?
Disruption Of AI & Automation
Public Relations and Marketing Communication are more about art, rather than science – It is about understanding the business, decoding the life and preferences of the targeted audience, and subtly create messages which solve the objectives of the campaign.
Can data-science powered with AI and chatbots powered by automation disrupt the art of PR, and induce something more mechanical which can save time and money?
Not 100% but yes, if we believe the experts, then some activities of PR can be automated, and maybe, data science can be used to create better communications with the targeted audience. After all, if a brand say Coke is aware that teenagers between 17-19 years consume more Coke at 7 PM, right after their sports activities, then the PR can formulate a campaign based on this fact,
2018 is all set to witness a major amalgamation of technology and art; experience and AI to create a new benchmark for the PR and Media industry.
What are your thoughts on the trends for 2018? Do let us know by commenting right here!