In the course of the evolving media landscape, communication strategies are developing more and more. In the last few years, a lot has changed in the PR industry. New media has brought up new possibilities and opened up innovative communication channels for companies and agencies in order to be in a closer relationship with their customers and to reach new target groups. The Worldcom Public Relations Group, the world’s leading network of owner-controlled PR agencies which HBI has been an active member of for many years, examined the current global developments and analyzed their significance for the communications industry.

Political developments like the Brexit or the elections in the USA have caused unease across the whole world. This situation has significantly influenced internationally operating companies and eventually their customers. Accordingly, it is obvious that trust plays a particularly vital part in the communication industry. Now, what counts are convincing messages that can win the trust of customers, partners, and stakeholders. This trust goes hand in hand with the growing need for reliable sources, giving companies the opportunity to position themselves as opinion leaders on the market with valid data and extensive background knowledge. In these uncertain times, employees pay more attention to the decisions their employers make and are more cautious with regard to job changes. Therefore, employee commitment is more important not only in the recruitment of new talents but also during the employee development within the company.

New technologies and media have stirred up the media landscape worldwide. Worldcom experts have observed an increasing integration of different channels and the merger of paid and editorial content within the last couple of years. Campaigns for lead generation like e.g. Thought Leadership are no longer loners, but they encompass various channels in order to get the maximum out of a cross-media campaign. At the same time, editorial content is being spread more over advertising to increase their ranges. This is also due to the decreasing number of journalists, whilst the influence of online platforms increases. Online readers are more demanding in their choices because usually they only have limited time and therefore have to filter the online content sharply. This makes it even more important for communication experts to make content more attractive – less purely informative texts and more topic-specific content that is of value for the readers. On the other hand, the virtual world offers companies the opportunity to better reach out and connect directly with their target groups by using online communities like e.g. social media that some specific target group takes interest in.

One of the most important trends, that is already changing communication today, is the increasing significance of mobile. The use of mobile devices – some of which are already the only form of information intake – is turning the digital strategy upside down. Visual content is becoming more and more important. The attention span is getting shorter day by day and therefore it is getting harder to reach target groups and thrill them. Expressive images and technologies like virtual reality augmented reality or 360°-videos can convey key messages of the company in a faster way and create an even more evocative brand experience.

Communication has been changing constantly and in the years ahead, it will transform even more due to the rapid development of technology. Thanks to the technologies that make our everyday life easier, consumers are much closer to the manufacturers and at the same time harder to connect to because of the information overload. For us communication experts, it is amazingly interesting to observe how this sector is developing. Moreover, it gives us the chance to develop further and let our creativity run free.

In order to produce efficient prognoses for the communication sector, the Worldcom PR Group has summed up the expectations of their worldwide working PR experts regarding current events, technologies, and trends. Aside from the HBI Helga Bailey GmbH in Munich, partner agencies in Albuquerque, Amsterdam, Atlanta, Bangkok, Brisbane, Brüssel, Budapest, Cleveland, Copenhagen, Denver, Hong Kong, Indianapolis, Lima, London, Los Angeles, Milan, Minneapolis, New York, Paris, Prague, Phoenix, Rochester, Sao Paolo, St. Louis, Stockholm, Virginia Beach, Washington DC and Wisconsin took part.

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