The most popular response (50 votes) was to help clients grow amid uncertainty.
"To bring light, humour and sanity in difficult times," was how Joseph Rowntree Foundation director of comms and external affairs Claire Ainsley put it.
"Nothing is now impossible. That's what 2016 taught us," said TUC head of campaigns and comms Antonia Bance. "It's time to reassess that risk register and refresh those tactics."
Almost as many thought Brexit offered the greatest opportunity. "It is going to cause chaos, and calm heads will be needed," said PHA Media CEO Phil Hall, while Manchester United comms chief Phil Townsend mused: "One man’s challenge is another’s opportunity."
Exploiting changes in technology, online and social media was another favoured choice. "It really is still day one," argued Amazon UK corporate comms director Dan Perlet.
Two entrants cited Facebook Live as the biggest opportunity. Several focused on the opportunity to grab market share from sister marcoms disciplines, given the "continued chaos of the marketing model" (Red CEO Mike Morgan) and, similarly, "chaos in adland" (Houston PR’s Hamish Thompson).
Others pointed to opportunities in content creation, influencer marketing, the fast-changing media landscape and challenging ‘fake news’. Measuring the impact of what they do and growing boardroom influence were mentioned by several respondents too.
The industry's biggest opportunity for 2017 is...
1. The era of uncertainty (50 votes)
2. Brexit (49)
3. Tech/social media (28)
4. Growing market share from other disciplines (25)
5. Content (12)
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