As we near the halfway point of an already unpredictable year, we are all faced with a great amount of uncertainty due to the global pandemic. Yet, we all must plan and forge ahead even in uncertain times.
The communications industry has always been met with challenges. Finding ways to adapt is the ultimate appeal for those with a passion for engagement and connection. Back in the ‘90s, the rise of the worldwide web sent communications professionals into a tizzy learning how to navigate what being “online” actually meant. And let’s not forget the excitement and skepticism surrounding social media’s infancy and the continued stress of staying ahead of the ever-daunting content is king mantra.
A global pandemic has forced us all to re-think our day-to-day interactions and how we work. It has also created challenges for public relations agencies that are trying to position themselves for post-pandemic success.
We all would love a crystal ball to see how the rest of 2020 will shake out. But why stop there? Our team of incredibly smart and intuitive colleagues at Stanton Communications took a moment to contemplate how the landscape and nature of our industry will change in years to come.
Below are three trends that we predict every communications professional will be talking about in 2025.
In-Person Connection as a Premium
In-person events and interactions used to be the pre-pandemic default. Virtual is now the new norm, and we expect that it will continue as a way to cut costs while also mitigating the spread of COVID-19. But this current crisis has also shown that our society still craves human contact, especially when something as simple as a hug or a handshake is taken away. We believe that communicators will find ways to hold necessary meetings, conferences and events virtually, while positioning in-person events as exclusive, premium experiences. Communicating face-to-face will have significant value.
Tailored and Niche Influence
Social segmentation and political bias will cause people to navigate further away from the general press and orient toward channels that speak specifically to their interests. The media – as a class – will become significantly less influential. Consumers in a current and post-COVID world will find the sense of belonging they crave through subscriptions and membership organizations. We are already seeing a boom in subscription-based businesses. Communicators will help clients create more unique, niche content as well as foster enriching opportunities to communicate with audiences that are seeking deeper, more tailored connection.
Taking Crisis Planning Seriously
Organizations now know the unthinkable can happen. We believe that crisis communications plans will no longer be a project to deal with in real-time, rather corporations will take actionable steps to plan ahead for crises. These plans will focus on how decisions will be made under pressure rather than how to respond to specific scenarios. We predict that there will be a continued boom in seeking crisis help, and that corporate America will turn to crisis experts on a more frequent, intentional basis.
As we forge ahead into a new season, we know that facing adversity will inevitability force us all to adapt to a changing environment. We believe that embracing change and thinking ahead to how the landscape will impact our work, especially as communications professionals, continues to help us build upon our skillsets, create invaluable experiences for our clients, and help us find ways to continue to thrive– as we have always done.