PR pros offer 20 words on what they're expecting in 2020

PR industry leaders have delivered their 20-word predictions of what is in store for the profession in 2020.

Photo: Getty Images
Photo: Getty Images

"Hypertargeting based on mindset and values rather than sex as the blurring of gender lines evolves – particularly in youth audiences." 

Leila Mountford, creative director, Lewis 

"A new social-media platform will emerge. Your client will insist on getting involved, despite it being an irrelevant cesspit."

Mark Borkowski, founder and CEO, Borkowski

"2020 will require businesses to communicate their ESG credentials and commitments more than ever through tangible actions and meaningful campaigns."

Sarah Scholefield, CEO, Grayling UK, Ireland and Europe

"Portland leading clients through a world in transition – navigating a course between old and new, local and global, order and disruption." 

Mark Flanagan, CEO, Portland

"PR's star remains on the rise. Stay audacious, purposeful, innovative and creative – helping brands change the world for the better."

Molly Aldridge, co-founder and global CEO, M&C Saatchi PR

"Alexa, can you tell me what you think will happen in PR in 2020? Because I'm f*cked if I know."

Andrew Bloch, founder and managing partner, Frank

"Here's a thought – by taking ownership of delivering purposeful PR campaigns with morally responsible messaging, would PR be more respected?"

Carole North, CEO, 90Ten

"The Twenties. A much better-branded decade already. I wonder how a newly rebranded UK PLC will fare, though."

Warren Johnson, founder and MD, W Communications

"Alternative, non-establishment voices that have previously been relegated to Twitter will gain a greater share of media voice on traditional platforms."

Jessica Hope, founder and MD, Wimbart

"Brands will not just stand for something but stand up for it, as brand purpose makes way for brand activism."

Alex Myers, founder and CEO, Manifest

"From mass to micro. PR goes on a diet. Niche media, influencers with cult followers and data-driven, slimline creative." 

Alicia Solanki, director, Ketchum

"Greater economic certainty than for the past few years; continued blending of disciplines; strong industry focus on advancing social mobility."

Francis Ingham, director general, PRCA

"Fact-checking, inclusivity and integrity. We've seen what happens when people don't think about reaction in an increasingly angsty world."

Emma Leech, president, CIPR

"Creative ideas that look good but don't deliver for clients are gone. The new rock stars will be the strategists."

David Fraser, founder and MD, Ready10

"PR needs to step up in 2020: it must become central to our race against worsening impacts of climate change." 

Sue Garrard, independent advisor on sustainability and communications

"More ambition, braver briefs, bigger budgets, better work. Work work work work work work. Work work work work work work."

Joe Mackay-Sinclair, founder and ECD, The Romans

"Those that succeed will balance opportunity with risk – PR's sweet spot. Purpose demands authenticity, data needs ethics, influence requires responsibility."

Helen Bennett, managing director, Weber Shandwick UK

"Creativity is the currency in which brands have to trade. Those that invest in it will be 2020's clear winners."

James Gordon-MacIntosh, co-founder and CCO, Hope&Glory

"As the Australian fires burn, in 2020 we'll finally wake up to our global responsibilities – beyond pushing products."

Nik Govier, founder and CEO, Blurred

"Adland has raised its earned-media game of late. Integrated campaigns are the 'holy grail' and PR needs to step up."

James Herring, CEO, Taylor Herring

"Client procurement teams are going to demand evidence from agencies on their environmental and societal impact as part of shortlisting."

John Brown, CEO and co-founder, Don't Cry Wolf

"Time to steer organisations to make a much more meaningful impact on society. Speak truth to power or suffer irrelevance."

Scott Bowers, group director of corporate affairs and communications, The Jockey Club

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