By Gini Dietrich
On the eighth day of Christmas, Spin Sucks gave to you…eight PR trends, seven PR blogs, six must-watch PR webinars, five PR books, four PR podcasts, three productivity tools, two Spin Sucks Crazy secrets, and the one PR tool you need for 2016.
Sing it with me now! Seriously, if I could sing, I would make a video of this song. Alas. You’ll just have to sing it in your heads.
Let’s talk about PR trends, shall we?
The Eight PR Trends for 2016
- Better content marketing. It’s no surprise that everyone is inundated with content and exhausted with the options…most of them not good. In 2016, the cream rises to the top and the weak will disappear. There will be more creative campaigns. Organizations will get smarter about creation. There will be a more integrated approach with influencers. It will just get better.
- Content as product. We’ve seen this PR trend really develop this year with The Modern Blogging Masterclass. People are much more willing to pay for content than they were even a year ago. They’re doing a lot of professional development and learning online. Create content you can sell. People want it (if it abides by number one).
- Livestreaming. During the Spin Sucks Inquisition, I asked both Corina Manea and Lubna Sadik what they predict as the one of the PR trends for next year. They both said livestreaming. With Facebook now opening livestreaming to all users, and the advent of tools such as Blab and Periscope, we’ll see more and more of this, particularly for brands.
- Private communities. A couple of weeks ago, Arik Hanson wrote a blog post called, Should You Remove the Comments from Your Corporate Blog? In it, he showed the decline of the comments on Spin Sucks because we have such a vibrant community. He’s right. We’ve seen a huge decline in comments here. But you know where we’ve seen a ridiculous increase? In our private Facebook group. That place is mass chaos. It’s insanity. And it’s ridiculously fun. I predict we’ll see more and more of this in 2016. I think people don’t want their bosses, their competitors, or their peers seeing what they’re posting online so they’re going more private.
- Paid amplification. I have a really good friend who thinks amplification of media relations is one of the major PR trends of the next few years. When you spend time amplifying a story for a journalist, what kinds of results do you see from them? Do you have a stronger relationship? I’m willing to bet you do. To get the kind of audiences you need—and break through the gross amount of bad content—we’ll have to throw some money against amplification, just like we do sponsored content.
- Virtual reality. Shel Israel has been talking about virtual reality all year and it’s time PR pros pay attention. I don’t think it’s one of the PR trends that will hit mass consumption in 2016, but I do think it’s something the more savvy pros will begin to explore in their PR programs. I haven’t quite figured out or if we can use it, but it’s on my radar and we’ll spend some time on it next year.
- Semantic search. I can already hear the groan from my Masterclass students. What? Semantic search is awesome! It helps you improve your content and media relations efforts because it’s much more accurate. It helps you understand searcher intent and the context under what they’re searching to deliver better results. This means you’ll go deeper than the questions customers ask to create your content. You’ll start to understand the psychology behind why they ask. And then you’ll deliver a customized experience. This is my big focus for next year, which means you’ll hear lots and lots more about it.
- Measurement, measurement, measurement. I know you’re not surprised! Measurement has to be one of the PR trends of 2016. It’s time to stop saying you hate math and using that as an excuse to shy away from data and metrics. There is a gigantic opportunity in front of the entire industry to measure our efforts and finally prove we are an investment, not an expense. Take advantage!
Now it’s your turn! What PR trends do you see coming for 2016? (Everyone but Danny Brown can answer.)