Revisiting the Top PR Trends for 2019

“A good PR story is infinitely more effective than a front-page ad.” – Richard Branson
At the close of 2018 experts and pundits put forth their projections for what would be the top PR trends for 2019. Now that we’re halfway through the year, we thought we’d look back at those predictions to see how well they’ve played out. Were they right? Based on what we’re seeing, yes, they were. So, what were and currently are the top PR trends?
An Increased Emphasis in Consumer Interaction, Accountability and Trust
According to predictions from this article from Inc., “7 PR Trends That Will Help You Prepare For 2019,” interaction with the consumer base, accountability, and trust in the company were conveyed with increasing importance.[1] In fact, interaction with consumers has been and continues to be a priority, but the prediction includes the use of technology such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning tools to better reach customers.[2] In a separate article from Meltwater, “2019 PR Predictions: 10 PR Influencers Talk About Trends That Will (Re)Shape the Industry,” Martin Wax, president of Waxman Communications, predicts that the use of AI in particular will see an increase despite the possible ethical issues of privacy it brings.[3]
Accountability also was predicted to be an emphasis in 2019. More specifically, delivering on pitches, rather than landing an assignment only to either miss the deadline or renege, is especially important.[4]
Lastly, trust was predicted to be particularly crucial in 2019. This Edelman study, “2019 Edelman Trust Barometer”[5] shows that “media has become the least-trusted institution.”[6] Moreover, this trust has shifted from the media to experts in the field. Although gaining and maintaining trust has been an ongoing challenge, predictions called for the sharing of knowledge and insights.
Current Trends and How They Reflect the Predictions
As of this year’s halfway point, predictions for 2019 based on the mentioned emphases have mostly come to fruition. According to this article, “6 PR trends every business needs to incorporate in 2019,” by James Cummings of Agility PR, consumer interaction, accountability, and trust are all trending in the new year.[7] However, the article gives no mention to the use of AI or machine learning when it came to consumer interaction. This is not to say that those things are not of import so much as something to consider later down the road. Instead, there has been more of a stress on “leveraging social media in order to give brands emotions that extend to the audience.”[8] The article also does not mention accountability but instead places stock in transparency and authenticity to gain the trust of consumers. This could be accomplished by showing “elements of your product/service to help consumers ease into them.”[9] Further, though accountability is not mentioned, it is not mutually exclusive with securing trust, as one can hardly exist without the other.
After looking at the 2019 predictions by public relations experts and pundits then comparing them to the trends at the halfway point, things seem to be on track with few exceptions. Rather than thinking in terms of using new technology to interact with consumers, leveraging social media to extend emotion to the audience is the current inclination. Further, instead of accountability, trust in experts has become more significant to consumers. Yet, accountability is part of securing trust if you want your brand to see continued growth in this year and for the foreseeable future.
NOTE: This post first appeared on the St. Conti Communications blog.

[1] Inc., “7 PR Trends That Will Help You Prepare For 2019,” https://www.inc.com/john-hall/7-pr-trends-that-should-be-on-your-radar-in-2019.html.
[2] Inc., “7 PR Trends That Will Help You Prepare For 2019,” https://www.inc.com/john-hall/7-pr-trends-that-should-be-on-your-radar-in-2019.html.
[3] Meltwater, “2019 PR Predictions: 10 PR Influencers Talk About Trends That Will (Re)Shape the Industry,” https://www.meltwater.com/blog/10-pr-influencers-give-their-predictions-for-2019/.
[4] Inc., “7 PR Trends That Will Help You Prepare For 2019,” https://www.inc.com/john-hall/7-pr-trends-that-should-be-on-your-radar-in-2019.html.
[5] Edelman, “2019 Edelman Trust Barometer,” https://www.edelman.com/trust-barometer.
[6] Inc., “7 PR Trends That Will Help You Prepare For 2019,” https://www.inc.com/john-hall/7-pr-trends-that-should-be-on-your-radar-in-2019.html.
[7] Public Relations Today, “6 PR trends every business needs to incorporate in 2019,” http://www.publicrelationstoday.com/2019/trends/?open-article-id=10196164&article-title=6-pr-trends-every-business-needs-to-incorporate-in-2019&blog-domain=agilitypr.com&blog-title=agility-pr-solutions.
[8] Public Relations Today, “6 PR trends every business needs to incorporate in 2019,” http://www.publicrelationstoday.com/2019/trends/?open-article-id=10196164&article-title=6-pr-trends-every-business-needs-to-incorporate-in-2019&blog-domain=agilitypr.com&blog-title=agility-pr-solutions.
[9] Public Relations Today, “6 PR trends every business needs to incorporate in 2019,” http://www.publicrelationstoday.com/2019/trends/?open-article-id=10196164&article-title=6-pr-trends-every-business-needs-to-incorporate-in-2019&blog-domain=agilitypr.com&blog-title=agility-pr-solutions.

“A good PR story is infinitely more effective than a front-page ad.” – Richard Branson

At the close of 2018 experts and pundits put forth their projections for what would be the top PR trends for 2019. Now that we’re halfway through the year, we thought we’d look back at those predictions to see how well they’ve played out. Were they right? Based on what we’re seeing, yes, they were. So, what were and currently are the top PR trends?

An Increased Emphasis in Consumer Interaction, Accountability and Trust

According to predictions from this article from Inc., “7 PR Trends That Will Help You Prepare For 2019,” interaction with the consumer base, accountability, and trust in the company were conveyed with increasing importance.[1] In fact, interaction with consumers has been and continues to be a priority, but the prediction includes the use of technology such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning tools to better reach customers.[2] In a separate article from Meltwater, “2019 PR Predictions: 10 PR Influencers Talk About Trends That Will (Re)Shape the Industry,” Martin Wax, president of Waxman Communications, predicts that the use of AI in particular will see an increase despite the possible ethical issues of privacy it brings.[3]

Accountability also was predicted to be an emphasis in 2019. More specifically, delivering on pitches, rather than landing an assignment only to either miss the deadline or renege, is especially important.[4]

Lastly, trust was predicted to be particularly crucial in 2019. This Edelman study, “2019 Edelman Trust Barometer[5] shows that “media has become the least-trusted institution.”[6] Moreover, this trust has shifted from the media to experts in the field. Although gaining and maintaining trust has been an ongoing challenge, predictions called for the sharing of knowledge and insights.

Current Trends and How They Reflect the Predictions

As of this year’s halfway point, predictions for 2019 based on the mentioned emphases have mostly come to fruition. According to this article, “6 PR trends every business needs to incorporate in 2019,” by James Cummings of Agility PR, consumer interaction, accountability, and trust are all trending in the new year.[7] However, the article gives no mention to the use of AI or machine learning when it came to consumer interaction. This is not to say that those things are not of import so much as something to consider later down the road. Instead, there has been more of a stress on “leveraging social media in order to give brands emotions that extend to the audience.”[8] The article also does not mention accountability but instead places stock in transparency and authenticity to gain the trust of consumers. This could be accomplished by showing “elements of your product/service to help consumers ease into them.”[9] Further, though accountability is not mentioned, it is not mutually exclusive with securing trust, as one can hardly exist without the other.

After looking at the 2019 predictions by public relations experts and pundits then comparing them to the trends at the halfway point, things seem to be on track with few exceptions. Rather than thinking in terms of using new technology to interact with consumers, leveraging social media to extend emotion to the audience is the current inclination. Further, instead of accountability, trust in experts has become more significant to consumers. Yet, accountability is part of securing trust if you want your brand to see continued growth in this year and for the foreseeable future.

NOTE: This post first appeared on the St. Conti Communications blog.

[1] Inc., “7 PR Trends That Will Help You Prepare For 2019,” https://www.inc.com/john-hall/7-pr-trends-that-should-be-on-your-radar-in-2019.html.

[2] Inc., “7 PR Trends That Will Help You Prepare For 2019,” https://www.inc.com/john-hall/7-pr-trends-that-should-be-on-your-radar-in-2019.html.

[3] Meltwater, “2019 PR Predictions: 10 PR Influencers Talk About Trends That Will (Re)Shape the Industry,” https://www.meltwater.com/blog/10-pr-influencers-give-their-predictions-for-2019/.

[4] Inc., “7 PR Trends That Will Help You Prepare For 2019,” https://www.inc.com/john-hall/7-pr-trends-that-should-be-on-your-radar-in-2019.html.

[5] Edelman, “2019 Edelman Trust Barometer,” https://www.edelman.com/trust-barometer.

[6] Inc., “7 PR Trends That Will Help You Prepare For 2019,” https://www.inc.com/john-hall/7-pr-trends-that-should-be-on-your-radar-in-2019.html.

[7] Public Relations Today, “6 PR trends every business needs to incorporate in 2019,” http://www.publicrelationstoday.com/2019/trends/?open-article-id=10196164&article-title=6-pr-trends-every-business-needs-to-incorporate-in-2019&blog-domain=agilitypr.com&blog-title=agility-pr-solutions.

[8] Public Relations Today, “6 PR trends every business needs to incorporate in 2019,” http://www.publicrelationstoday.com/2019/trends/?open-article-id=10196164&article-title=6-pr-trends-every-business-needs-to-incorporate-in-2019&blog-domain=agilitypr.com&blog-title=agility-pr-solutions.

[9] Public Relations Today, “6 PR trends every business needs to incorporate in 2019,” http://www.publicrelationstoday.com/2019/trends/?open-article-id=10196164&article-title=6-pr-trends-every-business-needs-to-incorporate-in-2019&blog-domain=agilitypr.com&blog-title=agility-pr-solutions.

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