In 2015 Annual Conference, 2015 Conference - Tuesday, 2015 Conference - Updates, Professional Development

By Ginger Broslat (Ocala Chapter)

FPRA15_0578“The speed at which our field operates is significant…it’s almost like operating in change management mode on a regular basis…we must keep up with the tools and trends to effectively serve our clients or employers,” said Arik Hanson, Principal, ACH Communications.



Nine digital trends that are currently being discussed:

  1. Content marketing
  2. Instagram
  3. Facebook as an advertising platform
  4. Mobile (for the ninth year in a row)
  5. Podcasting
  6. EMOJIs are everywhere – even in conservative financial company new releases!
  7. Is Twitter dying?
  8. Digital brand magazines
  9. Live social video is here – and so easy

Nine digital trends that we should be talking about:

1) The bite-sized newsfeed – How we get our news is shrinking. Studies show Millennials refuse to pay for news from a print or online subscription. Their news comes through the newsfeeds on social media. Media outlets are recognizing and publishers are trying to reach them. Journalists are using outtakes from print articles and posting stories and pictures on Instagram.

What does that mean to you?

  • Consider ALL channels as media
  • Package content and photos for SnapChat, Instagram and Facebook when you are pitching a story.

2) The jeopardy of the contentapocolypse – There is a glut of content. Each day: 432,000 YouTube video uploads; nearly 422 million Facebook posts; 5 billion tweets; and 58 million Instagram posts.  So who’s doing it right? Example: Microsoft stories – engaging content on employees that builds their brand and can help with talent recruitment.

What does that mean to you?

  • Quality vs. quantity.
  • Utilize advanced storytelling techniques – get deep with stories.

3) Is the corporate blog still content home base? LinkedIn Publisher is generating more buzz, especially among strong influencers.

What does that mean to you?

  • Consider how to syndicate blog content among diverse channels.
  • Use your organization’s super-influencers to create more content.
  • Don’t listen to pundits.

4) Is “Instagram Zero” becoming a reality? Possibly–both Facebook and Twitter experienced it.

What does that mean to you?

  • Don’t over-rely on one social channel.
  • Don’t over-rely on engagement metrics.

5) Live social video is here to stay – From March to May of 2015 both Periscope and Meerkat had 1.5 million posts, compared to 15 billion tweets in the same time period. However, that is with Periscope having only a 6 percent brand recognition and Meerkat, 9 percent.

What does that mean to you?

  • Resist shiny object syndrome.
  • Experiment slowly.
  • Stay within brand guidelines. Don’t sacrifice branding for the sake of following a new trend.

6) Breaking news has been redefined – Companies are now using social media to release controlled news. Example: WalMart’s pay raise campaign was released via blog and syndicated through its social media channels.

What does that mean to you?

  • New breaking news landscape is Earned + Owned + Purchased media.
  • Blog posts become the news release.
  • Re-evaluate how you break news for your clients.

7) Next generation of wearables and virtual reality content will fuel brand storytelling. Example: Victory motorcycles’ virtual reality booth at a trade show allowed visitors to sit on a motorcycle with a headset to virtually ride through the desert. Of those, 92 percent had never tried the technology and 72 percent had never been on their motorcycles.

What does that mean to you?

  • The future is NOW in virtual reality.
  • Virtual reality is not standard in our wheelhouse…it needs to be.
  • Start testing and experimenting with the technology.

8) The Impact of IOT (Internet of Things – trackable devices such as FitBit and smart coffee makers).

What does that mean to you?

  • Can be used for crisis communications.
  • Data can be great fodder for brand storytelling.
  • Exchange for data can be valuable.

9) Ever-widening gap between PR skills and social media skills – Entry-level employees are guiding the direction of social media without seasoned PR skills.

What does that mean to you?

  • Senior level? Take a leadership role to learn more about digital.
  • Junior level? Help senior-level members learn in a respectful way.
  • Mid-level? Mediate between the two, be a champion for the team.


Arik HansonArik Hanson
Principal, ACH Communications

Arik Hanson is the principal of ACH Communications, a digital communications firm focused on fostering meaningful online interactions, driving digital relevance and building measurable growth through social channels. Arik’s client list includes Fortune 500 and well-known brands like Select Comfort and the Mall of America and local, homegrown brands like Starkey, Feed My Starving Children and UCare. Arik’s blog, Communications Conversations (, has received numerous industry accolades including being named “Required Reading” byPRWeek and one of “The Top 25 Blogs to Follow” by PRWeb.

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