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The communications industry is evolving rapidly here in the United States and across the globe. As the ways that we interact with one another change, communications professionals must adapt to reach audiences. The pace at which these shifts are occurring has picked up speed in the past decade as well. Recognizing the need to identify these challenges and the top trends, Cision and PR Week released their 2017 Global Communications Report. The study highlights a few obstacles for communicators and shows that certain communications channels, notably social media, continue to become more entrenched. Here’s our take on four of the top issues addressed in the report:

  • Content Creation: The report noted that two-thirds of communications professionals ranked content creation among their most important duties. Increasingly, we’re called upon to craft that content. It’s critical that comms pros own that process and strive to develop resourceful and engaging content.
  • Social Media: Social media platforms remain a critical channel globally. Organizations should continue to invest resources into social media. Facebook, in particular, is the dominant social media site. Interestingly, Instagram has surpassed LinkedIn for the third spot among U.S. respondents in terms of relevance and importance for their brand content strategy. Instagram’s growth reinforces the increasingly visual nature of content.
  • Measurement: Measuring results accurately continues to be among the biggest challenge for communicators in the U.S. and globally. Finding valid ways to measure communications efforts is vital. This information will help determine the effectiveness of content and inform strategic decision-making. Ultimately, we believe, communications strategies should be tied to an organization’s financial results.
  • Influencer Marketing: Identifying and collaborating with influencers remains a top communications strategy. The question of paying influencers, however, continues to vex U.S. comms pros. Globally, the vast majority of those surveyed pay influencers as part of their campaign. More importantly, though, we believe is the report’s conclusion that “Everyday consumers are clearly the influencers to target to impact customer behavior.” Big name influencers can come with big price tags. However, brands should focus more effort on cultivating customer/client loyalty. Sharing those testimonials and experiences in a positive manner can be highly effective.

As the communications sector explores new methods, channels, and strategies, we’d be wise to remember that some fundamentals will never change. Among those guiding principles has to be a commitment to the truth and accuracy, understanding that audiences want engaged brands/companies/organizations, and recognizing the role that communicators must play as a strategic resource and trusted counselor.