Three PR Trends Shaping 2024’s Communication Landscape
By: Catherine Bormann
As trend stories flood in, we’ve got you covered with the top game-changers in PR. No need to sift through countless articles – we did the homework for you. AI, data, and humor are the stars of the show, reshaping how we do PR. Below are three ways to ensure you’re not just adapting to change but leading the way in 2024.
1. The AI Shift
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is on every trend list for a reason. In 2024 there will be a monumental shift from exploration to full-scale implementation, and PR professionals must adapt swiftly to stay ahead.
Picture this: my 13-year-old son rushes into my office, Nike-clad from head to toe, questioning if I knew about Nike utilizing AI models. While the source, TikTok, might raise eyebrows, the information is spot on. Brands like Levi and Nike, despite facing some backlash, are just the early adopters of AI in their strategies, catching the attention of even the Alpha generation. This is merely the beginning. AI is poised to revolutionize how brands operate, and PR professionals are at the forefront of this awareness.
A recent survey published by PR software platform Prowly affirms this shift. A significant 36% of PR professionals think AI-content generation will be the biggest PR trend of 2024. Delving deeper, 19% said they believed investing in AI-powered tools to improve daily workflow and efficiencies should be a top priority in 2024. This sentiment is even more pronounced among solo PR practitioners, with 25% advocating for such investments, along with 20% of agencies concurring.
As we navigate the AI wave in 2024, it’s clear that understanding and incorporating AI into our PR toolkit isn’t just an option, it’s an imperative to remain relevant and effective.
2. Humor Makes a Comeback
After a year dominated by backlash and boycotts in 2023, it comes as no surprise that one of the most anticipated creative trends for brands in 2024 is humor. According to Paul Prato, Executive Creative Director at PPK, “This year saw several high-profile marketing efforts weighing into social commentary backfire. 2024 will be the year advertisers will return to the realization that funny is far more likely to unite than divide.”
As we enter into a VUCA year (Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, and Ambiguity) humor emerges as the perfect antidote. Consumers are actively seeking brands that make them smile. A recent Oracle study found 91% of consumers preferred brands to be funny; this number increased among Gen Z (94%) and Millennials (94%). Surprisingly, despite this consumer demand, 95% of business leaders fear humor in consumer interactions. In 2024 brands that can deliver a smile will be remembered and appreciated.
In 2024, brands that master the art of delivering a smile will not only be remembered but also appreciated in a landscape where humor serves as a powerful and unifying force.
3. Data-Driven Storytelling
A large part of our job as public relations professionals is to help reporters, editors and producers see the news value of our clients and thus create a desire on their part to write about them. Enter data, a crucial tool for storytelling to accomplish this objective.It’s a straightforward equation: consumers gravitate toward eye-catching headlines, and journalists seek data to substantiate their news stories. The pivotal term here is “news.” Your data should not merely stand alone; it should tell a story. Ideally, one that resonates with the audience of the outlet you are pitching.
As per Cision’s 2023 State of the Media Report, 68% of journalists want to receive data in the form of original research, such as trends and market data. Beyond elevating your credibility as a thought leader, data-driven stories have the unique ability to anticipate trends and shape impactful campaigns. For practical examples of integrating data into your media outreach, explore our POV: The Irrefutable Power of Data in Media Relations. Download it here. Watch the video here.
This year presents significant challenges, but by embracing these trends, you can transform your communication strategies and redefine how you connect with audiences in the midst of a profoundly VUCA year.