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By: Aaron Robert2015, the year that brought us Jurassic World, Adele’s Hello, Caitlyn Jenner’s big announcement, and Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, is one for the books. Society has experienced great change this year, and with the growing use and innovation of technology, the Public Relations landscape has also witnessed great change in the past 12 months.

So, without further to do, let’s take a look at 2015’s top 5 public relations trends:

1. Visual Content: It’s no surprise that we are constantly bombarded with messages everyday from television, social media, online, outdoor, radio, and many more mediums. Brands are battling with each other to grab consumers’ attention. No one has time to read a press release anymore (think about it, when was the last time you’ve read an entire press release that wasn’t yours?). That is why quick, informative videos have grown in popularity. According to an October PR News/PR Newswire survey, over half of professional communicators said their video budgets have increased in 2015. Newsites, such as NowThis Politics, have taken advantage of this trend to gain their public’s attention.

2. Mobility: In 2015, nearly two-thirds of adults owned a smartphone, up 35% from 2011. Mobile devices have dominated the media landscape. It is up to PR professionals to plan their campaigns accordingly (especially in terms of website design and social media) to reach the vast majority of the general population on their mobile devices.

3. Infographics: Not only does the public like receiving visual, entertaining content, but they also like to learn something. Infographics are great for engaging your audience with visual content and relevant data ( it can also be easily shared on social media!). In 2015, infographics were shown to be extremely useful for nonprofits and health organizations, such as the CDC, who need to disseminate important information to the general public through creative means.

4. Time Lapse Videos: One major pop culture trend of 2015 was time lapse or “100 years of…” videos, especially on Youtube. Brands such as Buzzfeed, Mode, Cut.com, and other media companies have cashed in on our collective nostalgia. From Cut.com’s 100 Years of Beauty, Buzzfeed’s Women’s Makeup throughout History, and Mode’s 100 Years of Fashion, these short videos have gone viral online along with bringing these brands greater visibility.

5. #Hashtagging: If 2014 was the year of the selfie, then 2015 was the year of the hashtag for brands. It is now #inconceivable to #imagine an #advertising or #PublicRelations #campaign without a #creative #hashtag. Even GV PRSSA uses the hashtag #PRWednesday during every general assembly to record important bits of information. With the popularity of Twitter and Instagram, it is no wonder why brands wouldn’t use them.

So there it is, the top 5 public relations trends of 2015. Digital media and social networks have definitely changed the game, and PR pros are adapting. With the new year right around the corner, it is exciting to imagine what 2016 will bring to the public relations industry.


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Aaron Robert is a freshman at Grand Valley sporting a major in Advertising & Public Relations and minor in Writing. He is an active member of GV PRSSA and serves as the chair to the Vice President of Public Relation, leading the Content Creation Committee. In his free time, Aaron enjoys running, drawing, and spending time with his cousins.