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Marianne O’Connor is a featured contributor to The Definitive Guide to Public Relations in a Shifting Media Landscape.

Here's the complete contribution:

I think the next few years will usher in enormous change for the PR industry. Great storytellers will continue to be an important part of the PR equation, but our craft is rapidly evolving from art to art and science — From text to images and sound, from plain old reality to virtual and augmented reality.

Words will always be necessary, but no longer remotely close to sufficient to get the message across effectively.

As an industry, we are deeply affected by the rapid digitalization of communications and must leverage promising technologies like AR/VR, natural language processing, and machine learning in order to:

  • Communicate in ways that heighten engagement
  • And reach the right people, at the right time, with the right message

PR practitioners who are able to embrace and command these important technologies will be the big winners. Why? Because they will be able to deliver what every company wants: Highly targeted, deeply engaging communications programs whose positive business impact can be measured easily.

I see continued turmoil in the media world over the next few years as popular social platform technologies continue to push into the space of traditional media outlets by expanding from simple sharing to publishing. (We’re already starting to see this with Facebook and Instagram.)

Personally, I fervently hope we’ll see technology rolled out that will identify the true source of all information at the push of a button, irrespective of the publishing platform.

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