10 Digital Media Transformation Trends to Watch in 2018


With a new social media user being added every 15 seconds, shared media has become the modern equivalent of word of mouth.

Because of that, it’s, critical for PR pros to be aware of this new reality and ready their clients for the shifting landscape.

These key insights from PR Week’s recent webcast The Top 10 Digital Transformation Trends to Watch in 2018 can help any PR professional maintain their clients’ competitive advantage in the digital age:

1. Digital Transformation Will Continue to Disrupt Every Corner of Every Enterprise

In 2018, the continued digital transformation will force companies to restructure their business models, with technology top-of-mind. Companies who fail to adapt risk losing market share to companies who have streamlined operations with digital media and are focused on better meeting the needs of their customers. It is up to PR professionals to responsibility inform and advise clients to adapt before it’s too late.

2. Marketing and Communications are Converging

As the shift toward integrated corporate communications continues to increase, so does the opportunity to be more customer and audience-centric. Focus on bringing the public’s perspective to the conversation and not letting your client become too focused on business goals and messaging.

3. Time is of the Essence

Social media killed the traditional news cycle. With reporters operating 24/7, clients have less time to respond to breaking news. It is important to arm your clients with monitoring tools and the proper training to react in a timely manner.

4. Channel Focus Will Shift - Bolstering Owned and Shared Media

Social media has become the modern equivalent of word of mouth. In fact, in the coming year it is predicted that shared and owned channels will grow and paid channels will decline. Advise your clients to build out their following now, so that they have a rich platform to drive messages.

5. More Channels are Driven by Video

Video is the fastest growing communication channel. The best part? Studies show that they don’t have to be well produced. As a matter of fact, something that looks and reads as authentic is better. Clients are drawn to agencies that are able to provide them with diverse pieces content. This is one of the benefits of choosing an integrated marketing and communications firm, like Sage.

6. Reputation Risk Increase

Did you know that 60 percent of a company’s market value is attributed to reputation? This means that in order to gain a competitive advantage in the marketplace, your clients must be purposeful—and truthful—in their messaging in order to increase their reputation and brand value.

7. Artificial Intelligence Describes the Different Ways a Machine Interacts with the World Around it

Every day we deal with large quantities of data, and those numbers are constantly increasing. The challenge is how to make sense of the data and use it to your client’s advantage. AI is not going to replace gut instinct, but it will provide analysis to back up suggestions on how your client should react to mentions—positive or negative—about their company.

8. Centralization Will Break Down Silos

Social platforms are actively bringing conversations to one venue—the Internet. As dialogs increase, so does the amount of available data. Companies are able now more than ever to understand what is being said about their brand—and who is doing the talking. With this data readily at the fingertips of communicators, it’s time to utilize these numbers strategically, and break down the silos of discussion to bring your client’s voice to the forefront.

9. Chaos is Creating a Data Tsunami for Communications Teams

Amazingly, 90 percent of the world’s data was created in the last two years. Crunching business and communication numbers, data can be used more effectively than ever by PR professionals to unify and align a companies business objectives with their communications goals.

10. Measurement Metrics Will Evolve

With hundreds of measurement options, it is important for PR professionals to choose the right measurement tools to help meet their client’s objectives. This data not only provides a great way to show a media campaign’s ROI, but also allows clients to be aware of how they are positioned in the industry and if there are any risks they should be monitoring.

Key Takeaways

2018 is going to be a pivotal year as the continued digital transformation forces companies to modernize their messaging techniques. If a company doesn’t adapt to the changing media landscape, they risk being left behind and losing market share. When thinking of ways to keep your clients digitally savvy in the new year, keep these trends from PR Week in mind. 

X-SageJim McIntyre