2017 is shaping up to be another challenging year for communicators, in general, and especially those who must interact with legislators and government agencies.  From our standpoint, the items and issues that will confront communicators in 2017 fall into a few fundamental areas.  The items below are not necessarily ranked by importance, as the importance of each item will vary from communicator to communicator:

First, the continuing pressure for accountability in communications which will fundamentally impact the way communications campaigns are judged – and how communicators themselves are judged.

Second, the continuing advances in technology that will impact how communicators do their jobs – and the time, effort and resources needed to stay abreast of what’s happening in the digital space and elsewhere.

Third, the continuing shift in how people get their news and information in an unfiltered world, and how “fake news” impacts communicators and communications campaigns.

Fourth, the impact of the incoming Trump administration on those organizations that interact with the federal government, state governments and government policies.

These are among the many items that Capitol Communicator will be covering in 2017 and beyond.

We asked a number of communicators what they predict will impact the communications community and here’s what they predict is ahead in the next 12 months.

Crosby Marketing Communications provided seven predictions for 2017.  They are:

  1. Consumers’ desire to connect with authentic brands that stand for a higher purpose will only grow.  And so will the stakes for marketers to walk the walk, not just talk the talk, or else put their reputation at great risk.
  2. As the Trump administration takes control, Federal agencies, healthcare organizations and whole industries are pondering how to pivot their messaging and potentially overhaul their outreach and engagement programs.  Expect a slowdown and read-the-tea-leaves approach early in the year, and a resurgence of activity in the second half of 2017.
  3. Paid social media costs will increase more than ever due to increased demand.  At the same time, reported delivery will decline among key metrics such as video views and reach due to recent 3rd party data verification efforts.  The impact of this one-two punch will become evident as marketers start to compare year-over-year trends in ROI.
  4. Digital video will surpass growth goals as immersive story telling opportunities increase, such as live and 360 video.  Emerging technologies are spurring increased use of video while reducing overall production costs that used to be a deterrent for some content creators.
  5. Brands will rely on social media as a primary platform for enhancing the customer experience.  Content creation priorities will shift away from scale and volume to a larger focus on 1 to 1 and live chat opportunities.  The popularity of platforms like Snapchat and Messenger prove that consumers embrace and even expect this.
  6. The Internet of Things is here. Marketers will really start to harness and put into action the billions of data points they can access.  The opportunities to connect, engage and really know their customers is mindboggling.  Data is coming from fitness devices, TVs, beacons, clothing, computers, apps, cars and more.
  7. Fake news gets a rest as big players such as Facebook and Google set policies to combat its spread.  In addition, with the election over, there will be less creation, demand and buzz.

Sharon Reis of The Reis Group predicts:

  1. Demonstrating that PR is helping achieve business goals is more important than ever.  Beyond impressions and engagement, what are we getting for our PR dollars?
  2. More and more, CEOS are being tasked by their Boards to foster a national reputation and to be positioned as a thought leader.  The PR team will spend more time in this area securing national media interviews, speaking engagements, and identifying editorial opportunities.
  3. We will take a hard look at the impact of branded content.  We know the reach is there but does it drive engagement or action?
  4. We will see changes to the RFP process. It is becoming more scrutinized and lengthy.  Clients are concerned with getting the maximum amount from their PR dollars and being absolutely positive they have the right agency partner.

Laura Van Eperen, CEO of Van Eperen, predicts that “more owners of websites, blogs and social media accounts will recognize their audiences need more than self-serving promotional posts, causing the pendulum to swing back toward creators of quality strategic content, instead of just flash, flash, flash.”

Adam Shapiro of Adam Shapiro PR predicts “the advocacy and communications community will need to think more creatively about how to engage cabinet nominees and others in the upcoming Trump administration. Most of the nominees simply don’t have an extensive public record to examine in terms of the policy issues they will be focusing on as department leaders.”

If you have predictions for 2017 that you would like to share, let us know.



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