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By Alexa Grunder, Office Marketing Coordinator

With the end of 2018 rapidly approaching, we asked our staff to give their PR predictions for 2019. Here is what they had to say.

Chris Blake, Account Director

“Transparency in algorithms will be a key focal point for the media and lawmakers in 2019, especially as they pertain to what factors went into determining the flow of news content and search but also everything from job recruiting to dating sites. Scrutiny in this area is becoming ever critical with algorithms impacting our lives in so many profound but invisible ways, particularly because so many of humanity’s prejudices are being baked into the code. Instead of being able to recognize something for its individual merit, algorithms tend to make judgement calls based on the very same generalizations that can cloud human decision making. There needs to be greater fairness and transparency, but getting there is a huge challenge. Google says such openness would increase the risk of hacking, invade privacy and stifle innovation. Others say businesses that go with the “just trust us” approach haven’t been paying attention to just how much consumers are starting to care about how technology may be manipulating their life experience. One thing I think we can know for certain: this is something that needs and will get more debate in 2019.”

Michael Burke, Account Director

“PR Agencies will begin to take the initial steps beyond using data to simply report results or success of campaigns, and start using machine learning techniques to hone best practices in various aspects of PR. Early steps may include better identifying reporters for pitching, predicting media crises based on patterns in press coverage, and optimizing various practices such as press release timing and social media sharing for earned media.”

Jon Lavietes, Senior Associate

“Facebook, Google, Amazon, Apple and their offshoots (e.g., YouTube, Instagram, etc.) will monopolize an even greater share of business and tech trade coverage — if that was even possible. They will dominate articles on topics that aren’t necessarily about them. For example, Kevin Roose’s NY Times piece ‘Is Tech Too Easy to Use?’ illustrates just how thoroughly these giants will permeate a broader discussion. Read this piece and you will get the sense that the only engineers and designers whose opinions matter either currently work for Facebook or Google or used to.” 

Susanna Kalnes, Senior Associate

“The natural food and supplement industry will continue to boom in the consumer space, but there will be a shift in media message as the public is now well-versed on the overall benefits of eating clean, plant based, high-fat-low-carb, etc.  The next wave of coverage in the wellness field will whistle blow “healthy” products and companies making false claims.  This will ultimately educate consumers on how to see beyond “sexy” advertisements and do their own research to make more informed purchase decisions about what they put in (and on) their bodies.”

Thanks to our PR experts for their advice! Let us know your PR predictions for 2019 on Twitter @MSR_PR