2017: PR predictions roundup

Updated: Oct 28, 2018

From fake news and live video to Big Data and AI, the now perennial tradition of New Year PR predictions has highlighted a wealth of trends, challenges and opportunities for the industry to watch out for in 2017. But if you’re struggling to search through the raft of expert opinion and analysis, then look no further. I’ve rounded up the cream of the crop and shortlisted five of the best takes on what PR professionals can expect from the year ahead.

1. CIPR – ‘#PR2017 Spotlights Issues and Trends Impacting PR’

Well, as the go-to professional body for industry training and CPD, the CIPR were always going to make the list. Their #PR2017 guide provides a neat summary of the trends and challenges facing the industry over the next 12 months, with a handy breakdown by sector and region. With insights from CIPR committee chairs, this one-stop guide is tailored to all PR professionals; whether you’re based in regional offices or the city, media relations or internal comms, there’s something here for everyone.


2. Stephen Waddington – ‘PR in 2017’

Chief Engagement Officer at Ketchum and self-professed social media ‘thinker and doer’, Stephen Waddington, offers a comprehensive overview of 19 key topics impacting the PR industry in 2017. His opening point about the profession’s overconfidence in (or perhaps ignorance of) how artificial intelligence has prevented us seeing the full picture of late is particularly interesting. Indeed, the wider issue of how AI will influence the industry going forwards is certainly one to keep an eye out for, both this year and beyond. A rounded, engaging read that touches on a broad range of issues all PR professionals should be aware of – well worth taking the time to digest.


3. Colin Byrne – ‘2017 The Year Ahead for PR’

Less of a predictions article, Weber Shandwick CEO and former spin doctor, Colin Byrne, serves up a ‘state of the industry’ piece, as we move forward into 2017. This is a good read for anyone wanting get a sense of the general themes and ‘movements’ that will influence the profession over the course of the next 12 months. Pointing to the adaptive nature of the industry, Byrne explains PR professionals are perhaps better equipped than most to handle the present unpredictability of current affairs but, equally, highlights a number of hurdles the profession has yet to overcome.


4. PR Week – ‘17 PR professionals’ 17-word predictions on what we’ll see in 2017’

Pushed for time? Check out these bitesize 2017 predictions from PR Week. They know the New Year can be a busy time for us all, as we continue to recalibrate and refresh. So they asked a cross-section of some of the biggest names in PR to sum up what they think the year has in store for the industry in just 17 words. Unsurprising, some clear trends emerge; ‘Brexit’, ‘Trump’ and ‘post-truth’ all get a name check. Short, simple and telling.


5. PR Newswire – ‘3 PR Moves to Make in 2017

Again, not your traditional peek into the crystal ball. Instead, a call to action. PR Newswire picks out three major trends for PR professionals to capitalise on in the months to come. One of these is, of course, the live streaming phenomenon which has taken social media by storm. With the launch of Facebook Live last year, real-time videos are more popular – and relevant – than ever, so be sure to make the most of streaming opportunities in the year ahead.


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© 2018 Claire Simpson​. 

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