‘Tis the season for trends: Communication and Public Relations trends 2017

By Allyson Wright on December 27th, 2016

The end of a new year is often time for reflection – What went well? What didn’t go well? What are we looking forward to next year? With 2017 right around the corner, it’s important to reflect not only on some of the key healthcare happenings in 2016, including MACRA regulations, a new President-Elect and rising healthcare costs, but also how communication will evolve in the next year. How will we communicate these changes in the industry? What methods of communication with resonate best with our audience?

Let’s take a deeper dive into four communication trends for 2017. We anticipate these trends will affect how we share and distribute key messages and content with clients, end-users and consumers.

1. Shift in contributed content. In today’s world, PR and marketing can’t and should not exist without each other. PR will remain an important foundation for any organization to build authority and credibility naturally. In 2017, we will continue to see additional publication consolidation leading to a shift toward contributor marketing. With no slowdown in news, we expect this content to continue feeding influencer marketing as publications have fewer staff resources to develop articles. This provides an opportunity for PR professionals to control messaging and story topics for the next year.

2. PR and search engine optimization (SEO) join forces. A PR plan with a heavy focus on SEO content helps improve credibility and awareness. If these two teams work separately, it may be time to integrate. PR and SEO experts should be actively involved in making sure key words are included in press releases, blogs, contributed articles, social media, and more. In addition, organizations will benefit from repurposing content, such as a contributed article or infographic, as long as it links back to the original source. SEO can also help measure return on investment by reporting on the number of links or shared piece of content an article received.

3. Changes in social media content. Content is king, but recent studies have proven visual content is up to 40 times more likely to be shared on social over other types of content and colored images increase willingness to read content by 80%. In 2017, organizations should begin including imagery and infographics in social media content to better engage readers. Other examples of visual content include GIFs and short videos.

4. Organizations will spend more on marketing automation. By 2021, its estimated marketing leaders will spend 75% of their total budget on digital marketing versus traditional marketing. High-performing teams are 6.7 times more likely to use marketing automation and 4.2 times more likely to be extensive users of advanced tech and tools. Marketing automation systems integrate with your website to give you the whole picture view of how your marketing efforts are doing. The systems allow organizations to track, score and report on engagement, leading to lower churn rates and increased lead generation efforts.

What communication trends are you seeing for 2017? How will your organization adjust strategies based on this list?

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