What do you think was the most inspiring media story of 2018?
- The action taken by the students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School after they lost 17 of their classmates in a tragic shooting led to great strength and courage rallying for stricter gun control laws and inspiring an entire nation to fight for change.
- USA gymnasts, such as Aly Raisman, taking the stand against Larry Nassar during his sexual assault trial. The brave 265 women who came forward helped end one of the biggest sexual abuse scandals in sports history.
- The selection of Lucas Warren as the first baby with Down syndrome to be named a Gerber Baby.
- The incredible firefighters and neighbors who helped their communities through the California fires.
- CNN reporter Jim Acosta’s fight, as an American and a reporter, to seek legal recourse to get his press pass back.
What was your favorite PR or social media trend for 2018?
- A focus on strategy-driven social media. Clients are realizing that over time, social media can take on a life of its own – which often means that it moves away from the company’s core messaging and strategy. By conducting a thoughtful social media audit, looking at what works, what doesn’t, and how it all ties into the bigger marketing picture, clients are taking a fresh approach to social media success.
- Anticipating the inevitable – crisis communications planning. More organizations are taking a proactive approach, realizing that in today’s social media world, a crisis isn’t an “if” but a “when.” Identifying the most likely crisis scenarios and putting processes and procedures in place is an important investment of time and resources. The investment pays off by preventing planning on the fly during a crisis.
- Celebrating company success as a marketing platform. A company milestone – whether a 25th anniversary or a product launch – is cause for celebration. Having a party is great – but there is so much more that can, and should, be done to mark the occasion and create marketing opportunities across channels. We’re working with an increasing number of companies to maximize their milestones internally and externally as a way to talk about their messages, offerings and employer culture.
What public relations and social media trends do you anticipate seeing in 2019?
- An increase in the use of artificial intelligence. With technology constantly expanding, there will continue to be more opportunities for PR agencies to track engagement and interest for clients and even recognize potential crises before they arise by using AI tools.
- A continued need to create and identify additional venues to connect with audiences through media, online and in person. To say that the news is overcrowded is an understatement – and it won’t let up any time soon.
- The importance of podcasts and satellite radio to reach niche audiences with quality content.
- An increased focus on PR measurement and more sophisticated measurement tools. When a brand or organization invests in public relations, they want to see a return on their investment, so we need to be able to effectively demonstrate how PR has been a change-maker.
Stay tuned for more Castle expertise and insight on public relations, social media, events and marketing throughout the year.