We’re soon ending another year and starting another decade. That’s why we asked our Linhart PR team to predict the PR, communications and digital marketing strategies they see continuing or coming to the forefront in 2020 (and beyond). Here are 10 of their top trends to watch or tap for your organization:

Your customer is king. Allow data to drive the development of your PR programs. The intricate customer details we’re able to source are endless. We’ve known that for years, but now we can take it to the next level and use data to anticipate every step of the customer journey before it happens. Customers know we have the data to do this, and they now expect a personalized brand experience. Do you know your customer heads to lunch Monday through Friday at a certain time within a specific geographic area? Great. Build a program that caters exactly what that person wants and needs. Then, do it at scale. – Emma Garten

Tap Gen Z through engaging, two-way content.
Emerging social media platforms like TikTok, Instagram TV and Twitch are rapidly gaining viewers and users, the bulk of whom are Gen Zers. For brands looking to capture the trust and attention of this younger generation, an authentic, clever and entertaining presence on these channels is non-negotiable. Especially on a platform like TikTok, where engagement is essential, brands must embrace the essence of these new content formats – sometimes haphazard, quirky and cheeky – to engage with users in a relevant and effective way. The Washington Post, a breakout TikTok star, has used the video app to connect with a younger demographic by posting humorous videos from the newsroom, a departure from the newspaper’s serious reputation. – Libby Pinkerton

The right culture powers resilient businesses. The pace of change is faster than ever in today’s business world, and it’s not going to slow down. To succeed, leaders need to help their people manage, embrace and adapt to change as they transform their organizations and attract and retain the best talent. Building and instilling the right culture is foundational for achieving this goal. It starts with defining and acting upon shared values and a common vision for what the company believes in; aligned and transparent leaders; consistent, clear communications with all employees; and systems to reinforce workplace expectations and mutual benefits. – Kelly Womer

Back it up with (relevant) data.
Incorporating data makes for smarter and more engaging content and can ultimately lead to stronger and more compelling outputs. As companies continue to collect data like sales trends, social media stats and market research, we’ll continue to see data-driven content across communications channels. But, how do you know if the data is relevant to your audience, and with so much data in a variety of formats, how do you decide what type of data to include with your content? For starters, it’s what you do with data that can really make a difference. A data-driven PR campaign begins with identified goals and a target audience in mind. Rather than starting with a statistic that’s relevant to you (but maybe not your audience), ask yourself: “What am I trying to accomplish with this campaign and who am I trying to reach?” Once those pieces are clearly identified, choose the data or statistics to back it up. A strong message backed by the right data gives your campaign more credibility and will better resonate with your audience. – Kelly Brown

Partnerships among competitors are growing. While it may go against the natural order of things, competing organizations are starting to realize that working with the enemy isn’t always a bad idea. This strategy is especially becoming a trend with retail and consumer-focused businesses, where brand partnerships can benefit both parties by offering customers better user experiences. Recently, the newly revived Toys ‘R’ Us teamed up with Target as a way to get back in the game, and McDonald’s and Burger King joined forces for a good cause. These unlikely alliances ended up being a win for all parties involved, proving that fraternizing with the enemy can actually be a good thing. – Sofie DeWulf

Take note of teen trends.
Heard of David Dobrik? If teens are in your brand’s target audience set, it’s time you started following him. According to Piper Jaffray’s 38th Semi-Annual Taking Stock With Teens® Survey, Dobrik is teens’ top social media influencer with 14 million YouTube subscribers. (In the survey, teens preferred YouTube over Netflix for video consumption.) Kylie Jenner earned the #2 social media influencer spot with her 147 million followers on Instagram, the most-used social platform among teens for the third consecutive Piper Jaffray survey. By understanding Dobrik and Jenner’s content and overall social presence, you’ll get a sense of who teens consider to be top entertainers and icons today. Video game use grew to 9% of wallet share in the fall survey, with female gamers driving the jump. Food continues to dominate the #1 wallet priority spot, and Chick-fil-A, Starbucks and Chipotle (client) are the top 3 food brands. Teens are focused on serious content, too, with the environment, immigration and gun control noted as their top three social causes, something to consider as consumers overall crave brands with purpose and who take a stand. – Kelly Janhunen

Experience matters more than ever.
As fewer people opt for in-restaurant dining experiences and brands adapt with quick pick-up and delivery services, it’s no secret that consumers' time is more precious than ever. Seamless, valuable experiences - in this case rooted in convenience and simplicity - are no longer ideals, but rather necessities in today's crowded environment where breaking through the clutter is no easy feat. In 2020, brands must be aware of what experiences are valued by target consumers and innovate to ensure it's optimal for the service or product they’re providing. Brands should also consider partnering with other like-minded brands to provide the exceptional in-person experience customers are looking for. Take Lululemon’s new store in Chicago, for example. Complete with a restaurant, workout studio, meditation center and locker rooms, it’s more than a store. The brand is innovating beyond the traditional brick-and-mortar to align with customer values and provide an experience that goes well beyond transactions. To identify like-minded brands, think about those that align with your purpose and the needs of your audience. Also consider what brand assets offer the most potential for collaboration. – Maddie Taber and Shannon Hughes

Building trust through authenticity and accuracy.
Consumers are skeptical of the information and content they consume. They're demanding more accuracy and authenticity than ever before. Now and into 2020, communication professionals will need to continue to counsel clients to ensure the messages and information they're putting out are honest and in line with who they are and what they value. Consistently sharing honest and accurate information will help consumers build and regain trust in businesses. – Carly Connor

Differentiation with conservation is key. As the youngest generation comes of age as consumers, companies will no longer be able to get by with "greenwashing," but will need to take a real stance on how they're helping to slow climate change. Knowing the environment is a top social cause for teenagers, companies will need to differentiate themselves from competitors by making real, impactful changes to become more sustainable and attract cause-driven consumers. Providing data as proof points on improvements and getting creative with storytelling on company-wide conservation are going to be essential as more companies pledge to do better in 2020. – Emily Rado

Be proactive about issues management and brand reputation.
As societal views on hot-button issues become more polarized, companies and brands risk alienating customers, employees or investors depending on actions or stances they take, a trend likely to become more pronounced in the year ahead -- an election year. Race, gender, gun control, privacy and the environment are issues that embroiled brands like Uber, Starbucks, Nike, Gillette, Keurig, the NFL and the NBA in 2019. Whether organizations wade into these waters on purpose or are pushed in by accident, it pays to be prepared for any possible reaction from contentious stakeholder segments, and to be involved in meaningful ways. – Paul Raab