Written by: Hannah Thorn
In the midst of holiday season I think it is important to take a look at our lives and realize what we are thankful for. For me, it’s my family and all of the memories I made this year. But as a PR professional-to-be I am thankful for a few more things. Here is my list of PR trends that I am thankful for this year:
One of the biggest PR trends this year was the growth of visual storytelling. On average a person watches 32 videos per month and that number is growing. There is also a 74 percent increase in understanding when someone watches a video, which makes it a viable choice when companies are looking to advertise (Segal 2017). I like this trend because I feel like videos convey more emotion and information than a print or radio ad. Also it is a great way for companies to promote their mission and their brand. And I mean who doesn’t like scrolling through Facebook videos when you are supposed to be studying?
In 2018 visual storytelling will continue to grow. Soon there will be more apps to help edit and share videos on one’s smartphone. There will also be an increase in VR and AR videos for companies to showcase their products (Gerber 2017).
The role of Social media expanding
I, along with many millennials, have grown up using social media so the fact that it’s use is expanding is good news. It is so easy to write up a quick tweet and send it out into the world without thinking that some companies have gotten into trouble this year. Who can forget Digiornos #WhyIStayed tweet or McDonald’s non-existent link on Black Friday? The expansion has also forced PR pros into more of a customer service role. If someone tweets at you complaining you better respond otherwise that tweet could blow up and things could get ugly.
My favorite part of social media expansion this year was the amount of businesses that were hopping on social media platforms.Brands were forced to get creative in 2017 in an effort to stand out from the millions of Twitter accounts. There was some real sass and shade thrown this year. We even saw companies like McDonalds and Wendys engage in Twitter fights. My favorite business account has to be Hamburger Helper (@helper). They are never afraid to toss a diss out there. You can see other sassy brands here: https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/sassiest-social-media-brands
3. A rise in PR spending
According to a report from the Association of National Advertisers and the USC Center for Public Relations marketers plan to spend more money and dedicate more jobs to public relations over the next five years. That allows PR pros to get more creative with campaigns and,hopefully, have more of an impact in their business. It also means more PR jobs will be created!! So how can I not be excited for that trend?
This obviously was a huge issue in 2017. There was more than one instance of security issues that rocked the headlines this year. From Equifax to “WannaCry” to Uber, it was a rough year (Gerber). So you may be asking why I am thankful for these issues. Well because I believe that with these hacks there will be people that are learning from these experiences. I am hopeful that in 2018 companies will have a renewed focus on the importance of cyber security.
5. PRSSA Growth
2017 marked my first full year in PRSSA. And what a year it was! Not only did I grow closer to the members in my own chapter, but I was also able to attend the National Conference in Boston and grow my PRSSA family. I was part of a growing trend of new members this year to PRSSA. PRSSA now boasts more than 10,000 members in more than 300 chapters. They have now expanded outside of the United States to Argentina, Peru, and Columbia. I can’t wait to see how many more amazing PR people I meet in 2018!