Each year since we started releasing our industry report, we have experienced noteworthy societal shifts and technological advancements when discussing what lies ahead for our industry, and 2024 certainly is no exception. The past year really shook things up, especially for the PR and communication landscape. We experienced ups and downs in the world economy and politics, fake news, and people taking sides, not to mention AI getting smarter by the day. Given all these factors, we are convinced that PR and communication will continue to play a critical role in balancing the scales. Now more than ever.
A Holistic Take on PR and Communication Trends 2024
As in previous years, we have conducted a deep dive, surveying 451 communication professionals across Sweden, Norway, and Denmark to offer a fresh perspective on the most significant changes impacting our industry and what matters to our peers.
This year our report was created to reflect three distinct perspectives – individual, organisational, and societal as we examine the key areas that will impact our work in 2024:
- The Public Perception of PR and Communication
- Does our industry have an image problem?
- Dealing with AI
- Adapting innovation with a human touch.
- Building Trust in a Skeptical World
- Strategies for creating genuine connections.
- New Ways of Working
- Managing and thriving while adapting to change.
- Managing and thriving while adapting to change.
Do you want to read the full report? Download here!
Redefining Roles: AI and Increasing Demands
Communication professionals are feeling the heat with new AI technology and a workload that just keeps growing. There’s a strong need for clearer role definitions and job titles to prevent work responsibilities from becoming overwhelming. Many within the industry find their work more challenging but, at the same time, more important, which creates a mix of challenges and opportunities to make a difference.
- 63% say they too often are given tasks outside their professional role.
- 63% believe there is a need for a clearer definition of the PR and communication professional’s role.
It will be important for all working in the communication industry to use their communication skills to clarify what they do and how important they are. Mastering the art of persuasion will be key – knowing the right words, arguments, and evidence to show why what they do matters.
Adapting to Change and Innovation
The rise of generative AI, in particular, has created some uncertainty and has been a true game-changer prompting communicators to adapt quickly to stay relevant and efficient. As AI becomes increasingly integrated into communication work, it is clear that many Nordic PR and communication professionals value it as a tool for efficiency and creativity in their respective fields.
- 63% have embraced generative AI across various aspects of their work, including content creation, data analytics, skill acquisition, and brainstorming.
- 53% express confidence in utilising generative AI, emphasising its value.
Even though they see the benefits of AI, many in PR and communication feel overwhelmed and unsure about how their jobs might be changing. The key takeaway will be to embrace AI as an empowering ally rather than a threat. By adopting a curious mindset and leveraging AI to elevate one’s career, professionals can transition from feeling controlled by technology to being in control. Choosing a curious approach not only makes them stronger within their organisation but also turns them into highly important guides and advisors.
Read the full report here!
Strategic Communication to Build Trust
PR is moving beyond traditional boundaries to influence business strategies and decision-making. There’s a notable shift towards a more data-driven approach, where professionals leverage analytics to drive campaigns and measure impact.
- Around a third say that their communication department has gotten a more strategic, trusted, and influential role within the organisation.
- More than half say that they have managed to push their organisation’s sustainability agenda forward and that they have the ability to make sure the organisation uses generative AI in an ethical/responsible way.
The demanding communication landscape requires a clever and strategic way of thinking. By handling challenges well, working cross-functionally, and using a well-defined plan, communication pros can do more than just get by in tough times; they can help build trust in a world of scrutiny where authenticity is everything.
On a societal level, PR professionals are dealing with a landscape of misinformation and division. The role of transparent communication in upholding democracy and influencing public opinion is more critical than ever. Professionals acknowledge their responsibility in driving positive social change, especially in areas like sustainability and ethical communication.
- More than six in ten say that PR and communication play a more important role than ever in contributing to societal good.
- Almost half say PR and communication have become more needed (47 %) and important (46 %) in society in the last year.
Looking ahead, making cross-functional collaboration a priority will help earn respect and increase the ability for genuine influence. When PR and communication teams align themselves with other parts of the organization and tackle issues head-on, it becomes evident that they are a key part of the strategy rather than “icing on the cake.”
Strengthening connections with the media is crucial, too, especially for handling major challenges like misinformation, eroding trust, and growing divisiveness. Engaging in these efforts supports the shared objective of preserving our democratic values.
Our report shines a light on the resilience and enthusiasm of Nordic PR and communication professionals in tackling challenges in their changing roles. Even though the industry is at a turning point marked by technological advancements and societal shifts, communication professionals are becoming increasingly important in shaping organisational dynamics and the public debate. The report encourages viewing these challenges as opportunities for growth and making a difference.
With this being the third year of Mynewsdesk’s trend report, our goal remains the same – to empower industry professionals with the knowledge and solutions they need to navigate their roles effectively.