At the end of every year, PR practitioners always share the most exciting and unique forecasts from our clients and their in-house industry evangelists. But there’s no reason they should have all the fun! Here’s Treble’s perspective on how the tech industry and evolving landscape will impact our own work – not the new solutions we adopt but how they will impact the strategies we develop for our clients.
Prediction 1: Twitter — Sorry, ‘X’ — Loses Out to LinkedIn
Without getting into too much detail or judgment on Elon’s leadership, the data shows a decrease in engagement and quality viewership (especially if you ask advertising departments), not to mention the prevalence of disinformation. Meanwhile, LinkedIn is steadily emerging as a place for high-value content and conversations on top of its networking capabilities.
We’ll likely see clients and comms departments spend increasingly less time on their X strategies and more on their LinkedIn and Instagram/Threads presence. When brands start putting their snarky and ironic posts on Threads before X, then you’ll know we’ve reached that tipping point.
“In the dynamic realm of social media, LinkedIn has surpassed X as the preferred arena for brands seeking genuine engagement and meaningful debate,” said Avery Beatty, Account Executive and Social Media Strategist at Treble. “LinkedIn sparks a dialog where brands and thought leaders thrive through authentic conversations and professional connection.”
Prediction 2: The Big Glossy Feature is Replaced by the Sales Funnel
For years, the magazine cover has been the north star of every PR program. But as outlets move online and attention gets broken into niche audiences, each company and client will need a unique goal tailored to deliver maximum value. It won’t be about hitting as many eyeballs as possible but knowing which eyeballs belong to prospective customers for your client/organization.
CMOs will be less likely to ask, “How do we get the CEO on the front page of WSJ?” and more likely to ask, “How do we get our client case into this email newsletter?” Getting the right data will be crucial to show that PR programs are empowering the sales funnel and delivering closed deals instead of as much attention as possible.
Prediction 3: Firms Will Use AI as a Selling Point
Every industry will be impacted by AI, and PR is no different. Clients will want to hear how firms are implementing the technology to increase their efficiency and productivity to focus on the creative details and critical thinking that will drive the most valuable components of each program. Every agency should be prepared to answer questions on their own AI plan from their clients or prospects. Questions will likely include how AI is used to streamline processes and the role of AI in communications regarding corporate disclosures and privacy concerns. Agencies demonstrating an ethical use of AI will stand out to prospective clients.
Prediction 4: Firms Will Use “Not Using AI as a Selling” Point
At the same time, clients will buy the creative ideas, personal touches, and relationships provided by PR practitioners, not their ability to input the right prompts into generative AI programs. Agencies will need to make it clear what they develop based on their own skills. For example, media outreach/pitches should always be developed by hand to ensure accuracy and attention to what will matter most for unique reporters.
With AI becoming more prevalent, reporters will likely find themselves inundated with AI-generated content. We must adapt our writing strategies with personalization and authenticity to build trust with reporters and set ourselves apart from automated approaches.
NOTE: The text of this piece was developed without the help of ChatGPT or any AI platform.
Prediction 5: AI Becomes a Buzzword, Challenging Marketing Plans
Big Data, the Cloud, and Digital Transformation were all once flashpoints that could grab media attention but now are looked at as table stakes. Most tech PR professionals don’t mention these capabilities when pitching reporters, as reporters won’t think that deploying those technologies counts as newsworthy anymore.
A similar concern exists for the AI landscape, as coverage and AI beats are already solidifying around the startup ecosystem, bespoke models, and the big moves made by tech titans. These reporter beats will make it difficult for companies outside of the AI ecosystem to grab attention. As almost every company is building AI into their platforms, announcing AI capabilities will be seen as a “so-what” outside of trade outlets. PR practitioners will need to work on the messages of what AI capabilities are doing for their customers and why it’s different from everything else out there.
Prediction 6: B2B Needs to Embrace a B2C Mindset
As newsrooms shrink and PR professionals must fight much harder for attention, the ones who break through are the ones who can show why their client/company’s mission ultimately matters to everyone. For B2B companies, this will mean building new narratives on how their solutions don’t just impact their customers but the end-users of their customers’ own solutions and services.
B2B PR practitioners will need to learn the best practices from their B2C counterparts on building splashy campaigns and educating consumers on why what they’re pitching matters to everyone. They’ll also need to double down on understanding client solutions and implementations in order to find the communications strategies that will reach buyer personas through B2C-type activations.
Our job requires us to be on the cutting edge of what’s happening in the world and always thinking about how we can best serve our clients and organizations. It’s always easy to get wrapped up in the short-term day-to-day needs of our clients but to serve them best, we will need to think about how we can update strategies and adopt new ones to make sure there’s no disconnect between those two goals.