Five key media trends in 2017: from chatbots to fake news
Last week I was lucky enough to have spent a couple of days at the Digital Innovators’ Summit held in Berlin, Germany. It is an event that brings together representatives of many of the leading magazine, news and website publishers from across the globe to discuss how their industry is changing. Each year too a series of themes emerge which, if previous years are anything to go by, have shaped the way that the media industry has developed in the following 12 months. So here, gleaned from key speakers at the event, are five key trends.
Journalism is back
One very clear message that came from numerous speakers was that real journalism has returned. The ever-shifting political landscape in the US and Europe has ignited a real desire for quality journalism. Crucially it appears that advertisers are willing to invest to be associated with premium publishers and consumers are once again inclined to pay for high-quality journalism. Publishers are also seeing increased engagement and the number of subscriptions to quality news providers, from The New York Times to The Guardian and Quartz, has grown significantly. Ironically Trump and Brexit’s legacy could be a return to old-fashioned journalistic values.
Will AI replace public relations professionals?
Is PR the kind of job that could ultimately end up being done by robots?
While practitioners will point to the fact that PR is traditionally a relationship-based game, there are a number of tedious tasks that it could make sense to automate. Sending out press releases on the wires, for a start. Artificial Intelligence systems would also hopefully be clever enough to never make a “Hi [*FNAME]” mistake, or say to a journalist “Hope you’re well?”.
There’s been a lot of debate and conjecture about robots replacing journalists. It is possible, or so it is said, to create machines capable of writing articles better than humans. Thomson Reuters claims that its own proprietary AI technology has already reached this point.
German fintech and Brexit – Don’t panic, it’s politics
There have been many predictions from many different people on what is to come for the German finance and technology sector after Brexit. In reality no one knew before and no one knows now how it will all pan out. However, there are some things that are getting clearer as time passes by.
The most obvious thing everyone learned and all the major companies realised is there is no point in unnecessary hurry. The EU is slow and so is the British government. Even if the EU is trying to pressure Britain, it won’t speed up the process. The uncertainty about the terms of any potential deal for Brexit doesn’t help, but for flexible startups it doesn’t do any harm – for the moment at least. Startups with a software solution or service are more able to adapt than classic manufacturers or companies with multiple locations and hundreds of employees.
The biggest concern is access to the European market
So called ‘passporting’ involves easy access to the European banking system while enjoying the advantages of London’s regulations, which is massively important for companies in the fintech sector. Optimists hope this system will be kept in the new Brexit deal. With rising tensions between Theresa May and the EU, caused by the planned ‘hard’ Brexit, many business managers have eyed Germany as a new home. So far the exodus hasn’t happened, but will it come?
Five observations about MWC 2017
This year’s Mobile World Congress was a rather strange affair. For in spite of the showcasing of transformative technologies like 5G and the Internet of Things, it was actually a feature phone from a trusted old brand that stole the show.
1. Nokia takes us back to the future
The biggest queues at the Fira this year were to grab a quick game of Snake on the revamped Nokia 3310. Younger delegates might have wondered what the fuss was about, but for misty eye 30-somethings the return of the handset that was the industry standard was a pivotal moment.
Perhaps the online column inches the phone generated might encourage other manufacturers to resurrect some of their older models. Might 2017 be remembered as the year that the Motorola Razr or maybe even the Danger Hiptop come back for an encore?
Why it’s not OK for a CEO to be rude to anyone
It’s the kind of thing that most PR professionals have nightmares about. While clients can often feel aggrieved when they receive negative coverage, if they actually decide to attack the journalist responsible in a public forum such as Twitter, you have a disaster on your hands.
So, like most of the rest of the people working in PR and comms, we at Clarity found ourselves collectively wincing when Hootsuite CEO Ryan Holmes told a Bloomberg journalist – albeit in code – to ‘eat dick’.
While we will cover crisis communications in another post, here we want to discuss the dangers of brands and brand representatives conducting themselves in this crass and arrogant manner.
Rather than telling people to eat dick, you should probably be living by the mantra “don’t be a dick”. Not to the press, not to the people you work with, not to the people who work for you.