Gini Dietrich

The Five Communications Trends for 2015

By: Gini Dietrich | December 9, 2014 | 

Communications TrendsBy Gini Dietrich

On the fifth day of Christmas, Spin Sucks gave to you… five communications trends, four free webinars, three strategy games, two Crazies secrets, and the PR win of 2014.

How clever are we to get the stuffy old, SEO-laden communications trends aka predictions in here in a fun way? Yay for my content team! They came up with the idea. I just have to execute.

So let’s see if I can do it.

Eleanor Pierce already wrote the social media predictions (and some were quite funny, if you missed it when it ran originally) so I was asked to do something else.

Given my expertise and the fact that this is a PR blog, I give you the five communications trends for 2015.

Communications Trends for 2015

  1. Conversion of media. Julie Hong, the community manager for Talkwalker, emailed me the other day and asked me which of the five predictions she had listed did I think were viable. One was the conversion of media and that’s what I chose. No big surprise I would choose the integration of the four media types (my beloved PESO model), but 2015 is the year we will see more and more integration and the lines become even more blurred. Which leads us to the second communications trend.
  2. Paid media affects traditional PR. This may be in the form of paid amplification (think Outbrain or Sprinklr), sponsored content, native advertising, or sponsorships of influential blogs. In 2015, all communicators should be working with their media buying friends and colleagues to add paid media to their owned and earned media efforts.
  3. Old ideas become new again. We’ve stopped doing things such as deskside briefings, large events, direct mail, commenting on blogs, engaging on the social networks, and surprise packages via overnight delivery. Those tactics will become new again as communicators focus more time on finding the right solutions instead of what’s new right now.
  4. Communications teams (internal and agencies) will evolve. No longer will those who are integrating the four media types or using data to prove their investment or measuring their efforts directly to sales be the oranges in a sea of apples. Communications teams will begin to figure out the future is all of those things, and their competitors who still focus solely on publicity and events will die a slow, long, painful death.
  5. PR technology becomes a must, not a nice-to-have. The communications industry will become more accountable to drive their efforts through data. Those who don’t figure out how to become a profit center instead of an expense will die that slow death I mention above. Companies such as PRTech and Google will help you get there, but you have to take the bull by the horns now. I mean, right now. Use your holidays to start your education because it’s imperative this happen for everyone next year.

So there you have it. The five communications trends of 2015.

What would you add?

photo credit: Shutterstock

About Gini Dietrich

Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm. She is the author of Spin Sucks, co-author of Marketing in the Round, and co-host of Inside PR. She also is the lead blogger at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro. Join the Spin Sucks   community!

  • #3 reminded me of a conversation I had with a college student. I was at a strategy session for Shot @ Life (yes, here were postits – lots of them!). She was definitely on the younger side of our demographic and the only college student there. She said something like “we want people to come sit down with us in the Student Union to espouse their cause rather than send us emails, post on Facebook (or whatever network College Students use most now), etc. Kind of a “back to basics look me in the eyes” kind of feel.

  • It just so happens that we have already planned some #3 activities that we haven’t done since the early 2000’s. I think that digital, social, etc., is assuming its rightful place as one set of tools in the larger toolbox.

  • I am so loving this 12 Days of Christmas series. It’s exciting to see all the changes that the future brings, but it’s just as exciting to be reminded of – and partake in – some “old school” efforts, as you’ve mentioned above. I’m watching the series Mr. Selfridge at the moment, WW1 era London, and being reminded of the beauty of a hand written note, a finely wrapped gift, or a surprise ‘get together’, has been quite nostalgic. Though I can’t imagine me calling you Mrs. Dietrich. LOL

  • Did you catch the article by Chad White? Jay highlighted it on his site this morning. Expanding POE – Paid, Owned, Earned model to now include Granted and Leased (POGLE) 

    This could be a question for Gini on Thursday…..

  • belllindsay I watched an episode of that … it was kind of interesting, but Jeremy Piven kind of annoyed me, too. Does it get better?

  • I love number three! Just like 80s jeans and neon! Retro PR tactics are making a comeback!

  • LouHoffman

    Great list Gini. 

    I would add “Visual Storytelling”
    to the list. As the profession increasingly emphasizes content (back to
    your beloved ESO model) and taking “the story” directly to the target
    audience, it’s inevitable that PR dial up the visual side. Just the
    amount of information accessed on mobile devices forces this issue.Of
    course, it’s not an easy transition for PR types who are schooled in
    the world of words. Still, I think we’ll see meaningful progress in

  • Great predictions, Gini. Totally agree with these. I think integration of paid media will be one of the biggest and most important trends for next year. We’ve already seen the start of that this year.

    I also wrote about #3 – I think as we’re getting crushed with content and digital connections, people are craving analog, personal, in-person connections. That’s why I think we’ll see more high-touch, personalized marketing efforts next year. I think go old school is a smart move. There is a reason they are tried and true. 🙂

  • LouHoffman

    lauraclick Agree about “craving analog.” It’s only a matter of time before we see “old-fashion” services like the milk man delivering diary products to your doorstep return.

  • Here’s what I would add. Marketing and communications are becoming way too complicated. I optimistically predict that marketers/communicators will get back to basics: 

    Who is the audience? 
    What drives conversion?
    How do we measure results?

  • Eleanor Pierce OMG. I loathe Jeremy Piven. It was hard at first, but I’m a sucker for historical dramas, and eventually the show becomes more about the other characters, as most great ensemble shows do. Watch a few more, I’m totally hooked!

  • belllindsay Eleanor Pierce I don’t always hate him (I actually like the character Ari Gold!), but I hated him in that. Maybe once I start watching TV again I’ll give it another shot.

  • LouHoffman lauraclick It’s probably already happening in some hipster enclaves!

  • rosemaryoneill Love it!

  • biggreenpen Wow! That’s REALLY interesting coming from that generation. REALLY interesting.

  • belllindsay Please don’t – Mrs. Dietrich is Kelly’s grandmother.

  • Digital_DRK I shall check it out! I’ve been in a workshop all day so haven’t been online at all.

  • LauraPetrolino Um, I wouldn’t go THAT far.

  • LouHoffman Yes, really great add! I just conducted a workshop and I spent a lot of time on the visual side of storytelling. It’s scary to people, but I also think it’s very exciting for them.

  • lauraclick You’re right – the more personalized, the better. We’re tired of being lobbed into masses of people. Give me what I want, not what my neighbor wants.

  • LouHoffman lauraclick I want milk delivered! And Starbucks!

  • Shelley Pringle Amen, amen, and amen! Also, I have you on my list for today, but I may not get to you until tomorrow. It’s been a loooooong week and I realize it’s only Tuesday.

  • ginidietrich  Go home relax, it can wait.

  • Digital_DRK My flight has been canceled twice. If they cancel this last one, I’m stuck in Philly for the night. Yay, me!

  • ginidietrich Oh no !  I hope you can get out. It must be related to fall out from the storm moving up the eastern sea board. Good luck!

  • Digital_DRK I am not going to complain because I want snow at home.

  • Eleanor Pierce belllindsay Try a show called “Outlander” its a period piece that starts post WWII and ends up in 18th Century Scotland  Its fantastic!

  • ginidietrich LouHoffman lauraclick Starbucks delivery would be AWESOME!

  • Eleanor Pierce LouHoffman lauraclick Nashville has become so hipster, I can’t help but wonder if we have that here!

  • ginidietrich LouHoffman lauraclick Hipsters in Chicagoland may be in luck!

  • HollywoodGlee

    ginidietrich SpinSucks that’s so awesome, Gini!

  • Digital_DRK Eleanor Pierce belllindsay I just finished the book (first of the series anyway)

  • ginidietrich biggreenpen It was the complete opposite of what I thought she was going to say. I will see if I can get back in touch with her to get more thoughts.

  • biggreenpen I’m considering starting reading that series as well. Let me know if you get a chance to watch the first season of the television shows,

  • I want to add another. As more of these technologies roll out to the masses more small businesses can DIY and compete with agencies and hired guns. You proved it with your Taylor Swift post. She doesn’t need a publicist or a PR firm (until she does something to jeopardize her brand). The fact I was so successful doing PR for @ChunknChip with zero PR experience before I even had mentors in PR to help kind of proved it.

    Interesting list and I agree with you.

  • Digital_DRK Eleanor Pierce Oh! I definitely will!!

  • ginidietrich She should be “Dame Dietrich”! LOL

  • ginidietrich Sounds good!

  • ElissaFreeman

    I love this one:  “everything old is new again.” That is so true – we favour the new and shiny and forget all about what used to work REALLY WELL.  And I’m NOT saying this cuz I’m OLD either…just in case you were thinking that…*ahem”…

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  • Alix Edmiston

    Couldn’t agree with you more!  Bravo Gini for hitting on some very key areas of focus!

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  • ElissaFreeman Bwahahahah! *I* don’t think you’re old!

  • Alix Edmiston Thanks, Alix!

  • Shirley Wong Walker

    Excellent recap! Thanks for the tips especially the significance of measuring results through accountable data.

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