PR Pros Share Their 2024 PR Industry Predictions

As 2024 approaches, it pays to take stock of everything that occurred in 2023 and how it will impact the next year of the PR industry. Some friends in the communications world approached PRNEWS with what they consider to be priorities for the coming year on various topics.

With upcoming events such as a U.S. presidential election and the 2024 Summer Olympics, and ongoing crises such as the wars in Ukraine and the Middle East as well as U.S. economic pressures—it behooves PR pros to prepare for the impact to your strategies ahead of time.


David Barkoe, CEO of Carve Communications
On AI in 2024:
AI is a tool and a resource, but not the end-all-be-all solution that ends the world of PR as we know it. Despite transformative industry opinions about AI, I believe PR will continue to require a touch of humanity and a dose of personalization that a highly-trained computer just cannot give. PR agencies will expand their usage of AI in 2024, but it will never equate to the human approach that PR is rooted in.

Katie Paine, CEO and Founder, Paine Publishing
“AI Prompters” will become a new business opportunity.
As we dive deeper into the wonders/horrors of ChatGPT, Bard, etc., we will come to learn that the quality of the answers they provide is entirely dependent on the quality of the prompts you provide. As a result, a new class of agencies and consultants will spring up to help us improve the quality of our prompts.


Alisa Valudes Whyte, CEO, Merritt Group
The age of the B2B buyer is trending down, which means content strategy needs to change.
One study from Forrester found that the age of the B2B buyer is trending younger. Gen Z is starting to saturate the market, causing marketers to be more cognizant of how to effectively deliver information and content to the growing demographic. We’re seeing content growing more interactive, users seeking more self-service and above all, more short and concise information. White papers are out, short one-pagers are in. Long videos are out, quick clips are in. 

Influencer marketing—It’s not just for consumers!
While influencer marketing is by no means a new concept, (see Instagram, TikTok and other sites) it is, however, breaking new ground in B2B and B2G technology. Influencers are now taking shape in veteran tech leaders, media personalities and public figures. This creates new opportunities and strategies for PR in 2024. Communicators can engage influencers by collaborating on primary research, connecting through tech trade groups and prioritizing industry event participation.    


Steph Lund, CEO, M&C Saatchi Sport and Entertainment North America
The line between content creators and media will continue to blur.
Brands will look to comms professionals to approach and engage with influencers from an editorial lens—viewing creators as the captivating storytellers they are, and will look to work with them similarly to how they currently work with media.

Communications plans will continue to evolve to include storytelling strategies with creators. This will ensure brands connect with their audiences beyond media platforms—and meet them where they go for their news: TikTok, Instagram, YouTube, etc. 

Alisa Valudes Whyte, CEO, Merritt Group
Revisiting, refreshing and reiterating values in brand messaging.
The growing competitive nature of the B2B landscape prompts organizations to revisit and refresh their brand messaging at a more rapid pace. We’re seeing many organizations requiring a message refresh every six months. Additionally, as Gen Z continues to expand influence and geopolitical issues stay top of mind, brands will continue making an effort to highlight their values and ideals in messaging. 


Linda Zebian, Senior Director, Communications & Community, Muck Rack
Current global crises not slowing down any time soon.
Given the social, political and economic landscape, crisis moments will continue to uptick. I feel strongly we'll see an increase in brands bringing in outside experts to do damage control or place more pressure on internal teams to develop crisis strategies in case anything arises.


David Barkoe, CEO, Carve Communications
On expected trends between PR and advertising:
In 2024, expect a deeper intertwining of PR and advertising as media outlets increasingly use affiliate links in their content for consumer brands. This trend might blur the lines between journalism and promotion, raising concerns about transparency and editorial independence. The rise of "pay-to-play" models could compromise the authenticity of content, sparking debates on ethical standards and the need for clearer disclosure practices to maintain journalistic integrity.

Michelle Songy, Founder and CEO, Press Hook
On amplifying earned media with digital:
I’ve been closely monitoring the way in which brands are utilizing their earned media placements in their digital advertising creative to boost return on ad spend (ROAS). After securing press coverage, many brands are incorporating assets like the logos and headlines of the outlets and stories they were featured in as part of their ad creative—and are seeing gains in conversion rates and decreased cost per acquisition as a result, turning their hard-earned press coverage into an even more powerful tool for success.

Finance/Fintech PR:

Mary Poliakova, PR consultant, Co-founder & COO of Drofa Comms
Personal brand promotion and executive comms play pivotal roles.
The prevailing trend in the financial landscape, extending seamlessly from 2023 into 2024, revolves around the democratization of technology access. Advanced solutions are not only becoming more attainable but are also progressing rapidly, driven by the forces of AI and the decentralized market.

The financial technology sector is undergoing tectonic shifts, and the attention of an increasing number of venture capitalists is particularly focused on early-stage startups. VC builders and studios are actively aligning their investments with this trend, supporting the development of new products through experienced, specialized teams and their executives.

In this evolving landscape where early-stage startups are in the spotlight, effective PR emerges as a crucial tool for personal brand promotion and communicating the underlying ideas behind products or services. During the early stages of business development, investors keenly scrutinize these aspects, seeking strong business leaders with impeccable reputations driving robust projects.

The responsibility of PR firms in conveying information about projects to both investors and the public is likewise poised to increase significantly.


Brook Terran, partner and co-founder, Evergreen & Oak
In the upcoming year, PR professionals must support journalists more than ever before, as many are increasingly navigating more beats and dealing with shrinking resources. The importance of authenticity and focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) will also only increase, as audiences seek out relatable brands. Additionally, the post-Covid excitement for industry conferences will continue to linger, with many individuals still expressing a desire for quality face-time and networking.

Internal Comms:

Katie Paine, CEO and Founder, Paine Publishing
Union organizing will put increased pressure on both internal and external communications.
The success of the UAW, SAG-AFTRA and other unions will make effective internal communications critical. Folks in the legal and HR department will prove ineffective at diffusing the emotions around labor issues and increasingly organizations will turn to the CCO and their communications expertise to play a dominant role in labor issues. (Better study up folks.)


Katie Paine, CEO and Founder, Paine Publishing
Traditional communications measurement will become obsolete.
As more people move to texting, WhatsApp and other platforms that aren’t or can’t be monitored by automated listening services, the numbers produced by traditional platforms will become increasingly irrelevant. We will need to figure out how to analyze the sources that people trust, not the ones that advertisers and politicians are dominating with their dollars.

Major news events will place increased scrutiny on measuring crisis communications.
Crises used to be rare events that PR folks scrambled to solve. But in today’s 24/7 news cycle crises for some companies are almost daily events. (Just talk to the folks at any airline or fast-food company.) But not all crisis strategies are equally effective, and at some point leadership and your legal team is going to want some real numbers to prove that your strategic approach is better than theirs. Enter the “Crisis Communications Measurement” business opportunity.

Public Affairs:

Bonnie McLaughlin, Vice President and Public Affairs Lead, RH Strategic Communications
Policy Media:
This is the first time we've had significant global conflicts in the age of social media with such open and fast communications platforms. It’s jarring to see how easily images, videos and accounts of war can be shared. Public affairs and communications experts must determine how we can use these platforms to quickly and accurately provide help and assistance, while sharing actionable insights for policymakers.

Social Impact:

Emily Porro, Senior Vice President and IMPACT Practice Lead, RH Strategic Communications
Accepting climate change narratives.
In 2024, there will be a pivotal shift in mindset as societies increasingly embrace the undeniable reality of climate change, reaching a tipping point in collective awareness and commitment to addressing environmental challenges. Solutions brought to market by startups supporting clean energy transition, circular economy, sustainable agriculture and land use, will scale as individuals and companies allocate financial resources toward this change. Simultaneously, leaders within organizations will find themselves compelled to integrate sustainability into their core strategies and consider how best to communicate their commitments in an authentic, transparent way. Smart communications programs will emphasize that sustainable practices are not merely desirable for a more sustainable future, but imperative for long-term business success.