The volume of PR and marketing predictions reached an apex as we rounded the corner on a New Year and into 2016. Yet, whatever fatigue you might feel towards predictions, brush it off, because there are a handful of gems.
Here are those gems:
1. Newsrooms move to predictive analytics.
“It’s helpful to have metrics that tell you what content did well in the past – but not as helpful as analytics that forecast what will do well in the future. In 2016, expect editors and reporters to be informed by metrics that help them decide what to cover, like Mashable’s predictive analytics tool. The tool, called Velocity, monitors how stories are shared and interacted with across social networks, and by predicting which of these stories will be popular on social, it allows Mashable users to ride the wave of traffic. ‘We like to think of it as a digital crystal ball,’ said Mashable’s global news editor Louise Roug in an article about Velocity in journalism.co.uk.”
2. Co-creativity, a PR ecosystem.
“We are moving more and more to a co-creative environment, and as such, our ability to understand audiences and bring them together for shared purposes of doing good is going to be a critical feature of an evolving PR industry in the coming year.”
3. Pending millennial implosion.
“The word millennials will finally die a death in 2016. The word millennial has lost all meaning, you could replace it with almost anything without killing the sentence. There is even a Chrome plugin now that changes every reference to millennial on a web page to ‘snake people’ to drive this point home.”
4. Real influencers, please stand up.
“We’ll also see higher expectations of influencers themselves. Popularity is not influence and brands that use influencer marketing will expect more than mentions and social shares. Those influencers capable of affecting real business outcomes will become even more in demand and valuable.”
5. The paperback strikes back.
“We don’t mean a return to the five-pound Sunday New York Times, but digital-only media properties are finding value in also having a high-quality physical presence. Sales of physical books are once again on the rise. The ability to touch and feel is a novelty to a generation weaned on wireless.”
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6. The audience kills advertising.
“iOS9 has enabled ad blocking – but the industry isn’t ready to respond. In 2016, marketers will absolutely need to get better at native advertising as well as explore new ways of generating top of the funnel awareness – from sponsored podcasts and influencer partnerships with bloggers, vloggers and Instagrammers through to a renewed commitment to experiential activity.”
– Holmes Report: Hotwire Predicts Virtual Reality As Key Comms Trend For 2016
7. A comedy out of crisis communications.
“Just a few months ago, on Last Week Tonight, John Oliver managed to use humor even when he covered the horrendous Paris attacks on his show. Comedians, such as John Oliver and Stephen Colbert as well as YouTubers and other Internet influencers, will continue to poke fun at corporate and personal misdeeds for entertainment. But, brands can also look to use humor to provide perspective and prevent issues from escalating.”
8. Unchaining channel content.
“Businesses will hire more (and more senior-level) executives to oversee content, and will give those people purview over owned and earned media. Content is not a channel, and it can’t be siloed in the way social media, communications, media search or email can exist in relative isolation.”
– Rebecca Lieb, Conglomotron | Content Marketing Institute: What Content Marketing Will Look Like in 2016: 40+ Predictions
9. Native advertising smack down.
“At least one major publication will be fined by the FTC for an inappropriate use of Native Advertising.”
10. The 10x marketer; a new hope.
“I predict that the asymmetry in supply and demand for modern marketers is going to grow even more acute.”
– Dharmesh Shah, HubSpot | Inbound.org: What’s your big bold marketing prediction for 2016?
11. Long live the press release.
“PR pros have been proclaiming the death of the press release for years, yet it lives on. We still use the news release, although these days it’s more likely to support follow-up upon after securing an exclusive or to enhance search. Press releases also provide the important background reporters need after reading the email pitch that initially hooks them. Rest assured that they still have life ahead, as suggested by this week’s $841 million acquisition of PR Newswire by Cision.”
– Marijane Funess, Crenshaw Communications: Three 2016 PR Predictions that Might be Surprising
* * *
It’s worth noting that press releases have been dying at least since 1970-something, which is reminiscent of a famous quote attributed to economist Milton Friedman:
The only relevant test of the validity of a hypothesis is comparison of prediction with experience.
As for the eleven predictions listed here –I predict the chances are good you can take them to the bank in 2016.
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