16 Trends in PR & Corp Comm in 2016

11 Jan,2016


By Amith Prabhu


2016 will be a year of the unexpected. The communications profession is bound to see a lot of action. Here are sixteen trends that will gain traction during the year.


1. Thought leadership will gain more significance – There will be a greater demand for credible events to partner with and speak at. Content shared at events will have multiple levels of impact compared to the old school contributory article and interviews.


2. Content creation and sharing will become the cornerstone of good communications – Thanks to the onset of 4G, video will become more widely accepted. Simple, meaningful content shared in real time will play an important role in communicating.


3. Year of Pulses, US elections and Summer Olympics – Three major events will take place that will have repercussions around the world. The Rio Olympics in summer, the US Presidential elections in the winter and the UN declared International year of Pulses dominate headlines as they happen


4. Good talent will come at a premium – Good talent, especially at the entry and leadership level will be much sought after. There will be good offers made galore and the best women and men will take home higher pay packages.


5. Influencers will be in demand – Influencers from all walks of life, especially those who are neutral, social media savvy and have a huge following will be on speed dial of brand and communications managers. Differentiating between the credible and not so credible among them will be key.


6. The lines between paid and earned will continue to blur – Advertising agencies will continue offering public relations services for a song and PR consultancies will keep hiring from creative agencies and media planning companies to offer paid media solutions.


While the six trends above are my perspective in the Indian context I have curated 10 other trends from around the world to look out for.


1. Search Engine Optimisation will be part of Public Relations campaigns – SEO can no longer be part of a digital shop working in silos. Closer integration between those building earned media will be seen.


2. Despair across the world will affect brand marketing – The migration crisis, the rise of ISIS, corruption in emerging economies and economic instability will continue have its impact on marketing.


3. The Internet of Things will play a role in Public Relations – Whether it’s an app to track media output or a website that aggregates influential blogs, there will be innovation galore in 2016.


4. Purpose and Professional Development – Professionals will continue to seek greater purpose in what they do and look for a higher degree of professional development.


5. Focus on Authenticism (I just coined that word) – A movement towards being authentic which in turn builds trust and makes it more credible will be keenly sought after.


6. Livestreaming will get bigger – Tools like Periscope and Meerkat will become more popular and will help in sharing of news and events better than ever before.


7. Pitching to Journalists will be back in fashion – Over the last few years thanks to the 140-character influence, written pitches lost their sheen. This tool will gain some resonance.


8. Care to share what’s sharable – Journalists have immense pressure to carry news that will take off on the world wide web. News that can be shared wide and far will get prominence.


9. Climate Change will be a big topic – A lot of what will be said and written will be linked to one of the all-time big problems on climate change. So keep a ear to the ground on this one.


10. Crisis can come anytime and from anywhere – After what Maggi went through in India, brands better watch out for similar activism elsewhere.


If you’d like to add other trends, feel free to comment and also share on Twitter.


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