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2016 PR trend predictions – where are they now?



At the start of each year industry experts join together to identify the big trends developments in the sector. Like any other industry, it is important for PR and marketing professionals to stay ahead of key trends, utilising the latest technology or consumer insight to create effective campaigns.

 

But now, as 2016 is drawing to a close, we take the opportunity to look back over the past 12 months to see which of this year’s predictions have had a real impact.

 

Using PR Week’s Consumer PR: Predictions for 2016, we take a look to see what became a reality, as well as trends’ impact on the industry and our work.

In the article, M&C Saatchi’s Chris Hides talks about Shopper Marketing and the importance of understanding how customers shop and how campaigns can interlink with these habits. This is one of the key predictions that really stands out, as it further demonstrates how customers are demanding more from brand experiences than ever before. River Island is the perfect example of effective shopper marketing with the launch of its ‘Snap & Share’ Snapchat partnership in August.

 

The campaign took advantage of Snapchat’s growing popularity, especially within River Island’s key target audience, with the view to engaging with shoppers and making their experience more fun.

 

This trend - and specifically the focus on customer engagement - won’t be going anywhere in 2017, particularly with consumers becoming more savvy to advertising. Now it is more important to create an opportunity for two-way conversation in a natural environment, rather than a creating platform to communicate a brand’s messages.

 

Another prediction from Hides is nothing beats a great idea – it may seem an obvious one, but for me it is what makes this industry so exciting. From the resurgence of National Blood Week’s ‘Missing Type’ campaign, to Paddy Power’s ‘Juan Direction’, as PR professionals we have the opportunity to make consumers sit up and take notice.

 

In 2016, Refresh PR’s creative campaigns have been recognised with a number of industry award wins – from the Food Porn Awards to the Window with a View competition – we have been able to use our creativity to come up with campaigns that have a genuine impact on our clients’ business objectives.

 

Going into 2017 there will be more demand for these creative approaches; whether utilising new tools, or reinventing the way we approach traditional methods in a busy and noisy marketing environment, we need to be able to create that cut-through.

 

Stir PR’s Alicia Mellish continues the predictions with her thoughts on evaluation and measurement. With brands still cautious with their budgets and spending, there is more need than ever to provide metrics above and beyond PR value and reach. By working closely with the client from the start to identify genuine business objectives, we have been able to create measurable campaigns that impact consumer behaviour, to deliver the brand’s needs.

 

Earlier this year, our client, The Glass and Glazing Federation, launched a consumer facing website, MyGlazing.com - the PR campaign had one very clear objective; drive traffic. By creating the Window With a View competition, we successfully managed to exceed the target of 100,000 hits to the website, proving that the coverage generated was having a genuine impact on consumers.

 

The challenge of measurement and evaluation is an ongoing one for our industry and something all professionals need to concentrate on. We know nothing beats a good idea, but we need to be able to prove its worth!

Mellish also predicts the ever changing media landscape will continue to develop, largely through the commercialisation of bloggers. Moving away from opinion-led commentary, the biggest bloggers are now businesses, with a team of people growing their brand. Our previous blog  explores the movement towards micro-influencers as mainstream bloggers continue to grow in popularity, which will continue into 2017.

 

The final trend prediction we explore is Hides’ thoughts around talent. In Manchester specifically we have seen a marketing boom, with more agencies opening and services expanding, making it a vibrant and exciting place to work. But, for many this is leading to a skills shortage – meaning there isn’t enough talent to deliver what has been promised. Here at Refresh PR we are tackling this by focusing on in-house, high level training to upskill our talented team. The Refresh Academy offers our staff the chance to learn and grow and develop the skills we need to keep pace with this fast moving industry.

 

The Refresh Academy is still in its first year, so in 2017 we will continue to see it grow and develop. As the industry changes, the training we provide our team will grow with it, to ensure we can deliver high-standard service and offering that clients have come to expect.  

 

So onto 2017, where I am sure we will see even more developments and changes in this exciting sector and watch this space for our PR predictions.

 

 

 

Tagged with: 2017, consumers, Marketing, media, North West , PR, PR Agency Manchester, predictions, Social Media