25 Jan 2019
By Melanie McKay
At this time of year there is plenty of crystal ball-gazing about what’s to come for the world – let alone the PR industry - for the rest of 2019. It might not be rocket science though, with some emerging trends becoming pretty clear, so here’s our take.
Yes, the economy will be a bit shaky and the world order increasingly troubled, but we agree – and are actually really delighted – that there will be an increasing focus on caring for ourselves, for each other and doing the right thing.
That’s partly because in 2019, Generation Z will outnumber Millennials, with Generation Z making up about one third of the global population, and one fifth of the workforce. They’re the ones who are painfully attuned to suffering and want to do something about it.
It’ll mean more voices around the table pushing for corporates to commit to making a real difference, and rather than just paying lip service to their values living them both internally and externally. After all, they’re not just within businesses, but customers too.
It’s about more than having sponsorship, sustainability, community investment and engagement and CSR policies and strategies. Clearly, they’re important and making sure they reflect the values is crucial. But there’s a big communications job to be done not just internally with culture, but to ensure authentic storytelling externally.
In 2019 content will also be king, no matter what the medium. With predictions that the balance will tip to people spending more hours a day on the internet than watching television, the real job for PR people is to create that content and seed it through the right channels to ensure our client’s messages still get through.
This goes hand-in-hand with the social content is being used as a source of ‘news’, and with the shrinking of traditional media outlets this is set to skyrocket in 2019. People’s take on what is ‘new’ has simply become what they are interested in.
A case in point is influencers, particularly on social media. There will continue to be greater realisation that all influencers’ lives are sponsored, but this is not eroding any trust in them, so they will continue to be an important channel for particularly consumer messaging.
However, instead of pitching influencers, PR will attract and retain loyal advocates for the brand, who reflect a brand’s position. In 2019 stakeholders will increasingly expect companies to take a position on the day’s issues – again showing how they live their values. If you don’t stand for something, everyone will know you stand for nothing.
Let’s not all forget though that all these trends provide plenty of scope for us as PR people to challenge ourselves – dare you to.
Give us a call, send us a message or call in and see us. We’d love to hear from you.