Public relations practitioners play many roles – storytellers, business advisors, and sometimes, fortunetellers. Our clients look to us to forecast upcoming cultural, societal and professional trends and guide them through the changing landscape. It’s our job as PR professionals to read, research and reach out to fellow practitioners to learn as much as we can about emerging trends.
Luckily, reputable sources such as the Pew Research Center, PRSA and others regularly compile articles and information that can help us predict upcoming trends. Recently, the USC Annenberg Center for Public Relations released The 2020 Relevance Report, a book of essays from industry leaders that identifies emerging issues and topics. Trends covered in the report include media, communication, artificial intelligence, homelessness, technology, marketing, society and more.
The 2020 Relevance Report survey was conducted via Survey Monkey on Aug. 27-28, 2019, reflecting a U.S. census snapshot of 1,106 Americans.
Key trends identified include:
- Online brand reviews are most likely to influence purchasing decisions.
- Buzzfeed, HuffPost and Twitter were cited as the top three influential digital news sources.
- Climate change, education and healthcare reform are the top three societal causes to which respondents would be willing to donate time or money.
- Respondents believe Wireless 5G will have the biggest technological impact on their daily life in 2020.
- Respondents were more likely to follow the advice of an online influencer rather than a celebrity, politician, athlete or expert.