Like many industries, the communications industry is disrupted. Never before has there been a greater need for PR professionals to ‘stay ahead of the game’, deliver high-impact results, generate new and creative ideas – but all the while staying perfectly poised to react to the next opportunity emerging trends and technologies may bring.

The last decade brought about huge change; the rise of social media (and its influencers), autonomous systems, smart technology… but what will the 20s bring?

Here, we take a look at five key trends affecting PR in 2020.

Stand by your brand

In recent years we’ve seen leading global brands taking strong stands on key social issues – regardless of media and consumer backlash. The lines between politics, business and culture are constantly blurring – and with a now-certain Brexit clouding every communications campaign, consumers are demanding commitment and action… fast. In 2020, we can continue to expect to see consumers align their loyalties to those that share their beliefs and opinions.

Interactive content

Whether it’s a quiz, poll, filter or shoppable post, interactive content is on the rise. This year we will see even more augmented and virtual reality injected into consumer campaigns, making them much more interactive (and personalised) than ever before.

Data-led insights

PR professionals have long been using data to influence communications strategies and programmes, but never before has it been so prevalent. Access to accurate and immediate data courtesy of true PR and social media integration will allow PR professionals to make flex campaigns as required, dependant on audience engagement. The use of data will become ever-more important in reporting, as clients continue to seek added ROI on PR spend… hopefully diminishing the want for AVE once and for all.

Advancements in technology

With ComScore estimating that 50% of searches will be made by voice activation in 2020, advancements in smart technology is likely to be one of the biggest game changes in enabling smarter and more effective communication. The rise of automation, VR, AI and AR will provide communicators with further opportunity to engage with audiences and inject fun (and interaction) into campaigns. ‘Audio’ is also set to be big, and we can expect to see the resurgence of podcasts as a means of engaging with audiences.


Live video will become a more authentic way of brands and organisations sharing their stories. Content has long been king, and high-budget carefully crafted video content will continue to resonate with audiences… but where live content has largely been owned by social influencers, brands will jump on board – with social platforms already geared up to support such content.

Hayley Longdin is the Associate Director at Whistle PR which offers a range of integrated communications services including strategic consultancy, PR, social media, community engagement, internal communications and issues management. For further information, please email or contact us here.