Industry publication PR Moment recently questioned a range of marketing experts. This included Igniyte Head of Client Services Roz Sheldon. She spoke on the trends that could shape PR in 2017.

Roz discussed how shifts in consumer social media practises, could make it harder for brands to engage in online conversations this year. Roz explained: “Social media used to be all about transparency and visibility; providing platforms where brands could enjoy meaningful conversations with customers and maintain and protect their online reputations. But 2016 saw a significant shift in the way we all use social. Undoubtedly, there was a move towards greater privacy in terms of data and messaging and the expansion of traditional platforms like Facebook into ‘live’ user-generated content. Certainly, this made it harder for brands to control and be part of communications.

“The rise of ‘dark’ or hidden social and a desire to keep data private – chatting via messaging services and less visible sub-sites and a drive towards tighter privacy settings – are all muddying the waters.

“Services like Facebook Live are giving consumers a strong voice, but cutting out brand responses altogether. It is becoming trickier for marketing and PR professionals to identify, join and monitor what is being said about them.”

Solving this Problem

In light of this, she offered a solution, outlining how brands can reconnect with consumers on social media. Roz continued: “Burying our heads in the sand isn’t an option. Investing in and paying more attention to these trends is something the industry must be prepared to do in 2017. Finding new ways to work with sites, search engines, forums and publishers to manage reviews will be essential.”

Across the board, the experts argued that PR will face significant challenges in 2017. Explaining how brands can overcome any hurdles, the PR Office’s Account Director, Chris Wilson said it’s true that a PR professional that is flexible and well-versed in all will do well. However, there is and always will be a need for specialists. A good agency or PR department builds teams of different skill sets relevant to their clients.

To read the full article featuring Igniyte, visit PR Moment.

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