2020 Predictions: An Authentic Vision
A new decade is just around the corner and we’re eager to see which communications and technology trends are here to stay – and which we hope to see fade away in 2020. One thing we know for sure will not go away: authenticity and storytelling. Creating trust between brands and consumers is more important than ever with an evolving media landscape, increase in digital communications, and the proliferation of “fake news.” Hunger for authenticity opens up a huge opportunity for brands to connect with their audience by showing their truest and best selves. Luckily, the number of channels to tell that story is exploding across paid, earned and owned. PR firmly owns those channels, making agencies invaluable partners for brands in the new year.
Tune in above for conversations with March leaders on how storytelling will connect companies to customers in 2020!
Brands need to be authentic and trustworthy. And that’s really important in the current day and age in terms of how consumers are going to react to them.
2020 is a presidential election year here in the US. And that is going to be a huge focus and opportunity in terms of brands stepping up, and I don’t necessarily mean endorsing a candidate or even supporting a cause, although certainly in their storytelling, that is going to be an opportunity. What it means is that we as consumers are going to pay way more attention to what everyone is saying.
So it’s an election year, obviously, truth is under assault a little bit. But I think it’s going to affect how people trust and relate to the information that they read about. And I think it also gives brands an opportunity to perhaps stand up for some of the things that need to be stood for.
That means we’re going to turn that to brands. So even in the store, when I go to purchase or online when I go to purchase, whether you’re consumer or b2b, you’re still purchasing, I’m going to take that same critical lens that I would when looking at my election, we’re not going to be able to shake it when we make buying decisions.
The curated consumer – what we’re calling it – our work with some great device companies and technology companies in the consumer realm has really illustrated for us that we’re going to start to see consumers curate what they purchase in regards to technology.
They’re not interested in gadgets and trends, they want to make sure that their life is filled with fewer things that have greater interest and value to who they are and who they want to be, and are looking for brands and ideas and services that really reflect their best selves.
So over the past year, we’ve seen brands that really focused on showing their humanity more and highlighting their mission. Authenticity has been a major trend and it’s something that it’ll keep continuing. The technologies that companies have are almost becoming secondary.
I believe that storytelling will remain a very big focus in 2020. Building that narrative and understanding all of the channels that are available to us, and the formats and the ways that we need to cut up that story and tell it – whether it’s five seconds, 30 seconds, or an image that actually tells that story – is going to be incredibly important trend in 2020.
Having an authentic story is super important and I think even more important than that is having someone that can actually tell that story.
PR firmly owns storytelling and owns all of those channels and figuring out the right way to tell those stories over those channels.
People are smarter about the types of content that they want. PR has to continue being smart about how it reaches people and what it’s giving them and solving for customer needs less so than business needs of just promoting products all the time.
I think having a larger integrated approach to PR and having that overarching central narrative that we can carry out across all the channels, whether that be PR, content or social.
In the past, we went through the shift of editors and publications wanting more and more contributed content. And then the floodgates opened up so much that publications were getting really promotional materials. They’re being a lot more selective in terms of what contributed content they take. We’ll continue to have less and less opportunities for contributed content unless we really are having compelling, interesting narratives, thought leadership driven.
For us as an agency, I think it’s a cool challenge. I think it’ll be great for our content team to: first of all, establish stronger relationships with those media publications, figure out exactly what they’re looking for; and then also, it’s a creative challenge for our content team as well.
I’d love to see executives develop more of a sense of seeing themselves in their businesses so that they’re even more invested in those businesses and consumers want to invest more in those businesses. I think that’ll be a huge transformation and one that I think that everyone could benefit from in the long term.
I think one of the biggest things agencies can do right now to support their clients and provide a strategy is to kind of be that that guide stone when it comes to authenticity and helping a brand you know – it’s that third party. It’s always useful having someone else review your work, take a look at your thinking, you know, bounce ideas off of. For an agency you can really help a client in a sense of, you know, you might be straying a little bit from who you are and with trust being in a premium now, any agency that can help the clients reel that in or just kind of be that level setter, I think is really going to be a great boon in the years to come.
Fast changing world, things are happening very quickly. They need an agency that they can partner with to solve their long term business problems, not a partner that’s going to stick to the letter with whatever they agree to do in the SOW on the first day of the campaign. So, a much more interactive, conversational, progressive type relationship would be at the heart of a successful public relations driven campaign in 2020.