The future of PR: Watch PRWeek's 30 Under 30 give their predictions for 2030

What do the next generation of comms leaders think the PR industry will look like in 2030?

Following on from our YouGov survey, which asked the wider industry about their thoughts, we asked PRWeek's 30 Under 30 contingent for their predictions:

Technology

"We won’t be communicating in words by 2030 – it’ll be video content, dictated messages and emails will be read out to you by the chip in your ear…"
Oliver Jones, head of comms and sustainability, Aggregate Industries

"Every story that a brand tells will use technology, regardless of sector: whether that’s to amplify digital content, or create a virtual reality experience. Think comms:tech."
Jessie Bland, content strategist, WE

"Agencies will be expected to control messages through the use of technology and, as a result, work more closely with tech firms such as Google. The notion of creative talent will shift accordingly, with firms seeking to beat technology at its own game."
Frank Marr, founder and creative director, A Marr & Associates

"For me, the future is virtual reality or augmented reality. Google 360-degree video and Facebook’s purchase of Oculus Rift is a signpost to two of the world’s biggest content purveyors’ view of the future of content and I’m not arguing."
Adam Tanous, senior account manager at Performance Communications and lifestyle blogger

"Today’s 24-hour rolling news cycle means that speed of response is crucial – which I think will only increase in importance over the next 15 years as the globalisation of information continues."
Joanna Crawford, senior account manager, Cicero Group

Importance of PR

"There’s no doubt that the importance of PR (as well as internal comms) will have increased across all organisations. Whether it’s the share price of a multinational company, the trust we put in a charity or the public reputation of a police force, with unlimited transparency and the advent of ‘hacktivism’, comms will be integral not just to success, but also survival. Expect to see comms chiefs on the board of every organisation."
Oliver Jones, head of comms and sustainability, Aggregate Industries

Gender equality

"As PR becomes ever more about transparency it should become the first industry to completely embrace gender equality in terms of pay, influence and prospects."
Georgie Howlett, senior consultant, Forster

PR agencies

"By 2030, all PRs will be data scientists. Most large agencies already have a measurement and insight specialist in high demand but, as the wealth of data grows and our understanding of finely tuned measurement increases, so will our clients’ expectations. By 2030, this speciality will no longer be optional."
Elizabeth Mercer, account manager – technology, FleishmanHillard

"Agencies that haven’t evolved to offer the ‘complete solution’ by integrating will be marginalised. Forget agencies specialising in PR, digital marketing, social media etc, the future will be specialising in niche topics, but with all marketing disciplines under one roof."
Adam Tanous, senior account manager at Performance Communications and lifestyle blogger

"Agencies that use data to show their work is making a demonstrable cross-business impact beyond media coverage will be the ones to thrive."
Ryan Sketchley, senior account director, Thirteen Communications

"New agencies will focus on the most valuable comms tasks – strategy with smarter analytics/ measurement, powered by better tech/ systems from the start-up world and no stigma on paid amplification."
Max Tatton-Brown, founding director, Augur

Press releases

"As someone who enjoys working with journalists, I look forward to putting the press release to bed as a means of real story creation. It works to document complicated transactions, so it may remain as a formal company record, like financial tombstones."
Thomas Morris, consultant, Fishburn

Social media

"By 2030, people will just ‘get’ social media. And then, stale company Twitter/Facebook feeds can be replaced by genuine personality. Particularly for financial companies, which often have stimulating people with interesting insights. Social media should be showcasing them, not just linking us to the newsroom."
Thomas Morris, consultant, Fishburn


Traditional and new media

"You can pretty much wave goodbye to printed media. We can see this trend already but, by 2030, I believe only hipsters will be reading the printed word, while listening to their portable vinyl player, of course."
David Clare, programme director, Hotwire

"By 2030, most of our current comms platforms will be irrelevant. If you consider all the ways that Facebook and the iPhone have revolutionised the ways that brands communicate over the past eight years and assume that it won’t be long before another game-changer appears, then the tools of our job could well be very different by 2030. But the need for an authentic voice will, no doubt, still be vital."
Elizabeth Mercer, account manager – technology, FleishmanHillard

"The distinction between bloggers and journalists may be lost. Journalism is already stylizing itself more like blogs, while blogs are aiming to become more accurate and organised like journalism. They will simply be ‘the media’, making the industry (and relevance for PR) stronger than ever."
David Clare, programme director, Hotwire

"I think PR will be much more focused on getting messages to individuals directly, rather than via the traditional or even online media. It’ll be more about tightly tailored content, with new technology no doubt available to make current targeting techniques look like a broad, scattergun approach."
Andy Silvester, head of campaigns, Institute of Directors

"Taking a leaf from Minority Report, personalised news will be commonplace, delivered via new mediums such as foldable screens."
Duncan White, director, The News Academy

"Formats are sure to matter less as media production automatically converts into multiple formats; it will be  a produce once, publish everywhere world."
Christopher Onderstall, associate director, FleishmanHillard

Content

"As brands further establish themselves as content engines, owned and paid will become just as – if not more – important than earned content."
Jessie Bland, content strategist, WE

"By 2030, PRs will produce more content than journalists. Fifteen years from now it’s entirely possible that journalists will write fewer, more in-depth articles and it will be PRs who fill in the gaps."
Elizabeth Mercer, account manager – technology, FleishmanHillard

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