4 PR Trends for 2017

When tech expert Katie Linendoll dishes on her favorite trends in technology, people pay attention.

Among her top favorites is “not-com” domain extensions. These are the hundreds of new options to the right of the dot in a website URL.

Yep, hundreds.

New endings such as ‘dot-photography’ (.photography), ‘dot-guru (.guru) and ‘dot-wtf’ (.wtf) are gaining momentum as one of the hottest digital trends because they allow you to design a website URL that is more creative, meaningful and memorable. More and more small businesses and startups are joining what’s been dubbed the “Not-Com Revolution.”

And, for those who are concerned about being found online via this new crop of domain endings, don’t stress. Google has gone on the record saying they treat these domain options in search no differently than oldies such as ‘dot-com’ (.com) and ‘dot-net’ (.net).

So go ahead. Drop the too-long and too-confusing domain that you bought in 1999 and trade it in for a snappy, new ‘dot-media’ (.media) or ‘dot-agency’ (.agency) domain. There are some clever options to use for client microsites and promotions too – ‘dot-digital’ (.digital) and ‘dot-photos’ (.photos) to name a few.

And that’s just one PR trend for 2017.

Here are three others:

  • Executive thought leadership;
  • Influencer marketing; and
  • Contributor marketing.

Let’s take a look at each.

Executive Thought Leadership

I know, I know. “Thought leadership” is one of those terms that makes marketers roll their eyes. But, when done well and when the executive has something intelligent to say that isn’t the same as everyone else, thought leadership works.

finding your blogs voice

If your bosses or clients can combine their industry with trending topics like data, analytics, artificial intelligence and/or virtual reality, their thought leadership will boom in 2017.

Look for this PR trend to create more action next year.

Influencer Marketing

While consumer trust in advertisements and even in traditional media sources continues to decline, Twitter says we now trust influencers as much as our friends.

What’s even more astounding is a Nielsen survey says 92 percent of us trust recommendations from individuals we may not personally know—if they’re perceived as a “social media star” in the industry—over what brands communicate.

Ninety. Two. Percent.

This means, if you don’t have a strong influencer marketing program set for 2017, you will be way behind.

Contributor Marketing

It may be premature to say the news release is dead—particularly for regulated industries—but the idea that you can write it, mass distribute through your email…and expect results is antiquated.

As media outlets continue to furlough or completely layoff seasoned journalists, contributors (paid and unpaid) will rise, assuming they (like thought leaders) have something interesting new, valuable and/or controversial to say.

In this 24/7 media cycle we’re in, everyone needs really good content—and that can come in the form of something you’ve produced internally, so long as it’s targeted to the publication’s readers and is valuable enough for them to want to publish and share.

And, if you have engaged social networks and can prove you are influential in your own right, media outlets will continue to want to work with you, if only for the sole reason that you’ve increased their page views and maybe even their audience base.

So there you have it. The four PR trends for 2017. What else do you see as trendy and hip for next year?


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Maris Callahan is the director of public relations for Donuts Inc. and name.kitchen, where she spends her days doing media relations, content marketing and social media. She lives in Chicago with Brad, her significant other, and their chihuahua Henry, her other significant other.