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2019 Predictions: The year of earned media

This blog is part of our PRedictions series, a collection of posts from PR and communications leaders offering insights, advice, and opinions on how our industry can grow in 2019. To view our full list of 2019 PRedictions, click here. Ellie Glason, Associate Director, GingerComms and Ginger Research, predicts: 

To predict what’s in store for the PR industry in 2019, it’s well worth assessing the shifts in the media landscape this year. 2018 was a great year for British national newspapers, as print advertising rose for the first time in a decade.

The advertising backlash against tech giants Facebook and Google - the reason many brands made the decision to move advertising spend over to print this year - reflects the continued growing public distrust in social media companies as reputable, ethical organisations - and as sources of ‘real’ news.

2018 closes with Facebook in crisis yet again, with the claims that it systematically spread conspiracy theories about George Soros leaving a question mark over Mark Zuckerberg’s future at the helm.

So what does all this mean for the media landscape - and for placing stories - in 2019?

With newspapers in a happier place than they’ve been for years, we will hopefully see a pause in the slashing of newsroom staff, giving journalists a little breathing space. The result could be more time and space for stories - both news agenda and brand content led. Also, it might do for PR practitioners to think carefully about the merits of influencer and socially-led activity, when we know that credibility in these platforms is falling with consumers. Assuming that traditional media - and print especially - will see a further revival next year, our focus as PR practitioners should not shift too far away from this platform. Let’s continue to share with our clients the importance of earned media coverage, and the skill that it takes to achieve it.