What can you expect from 2024? Here are the six trends for communications and marketing leaders to pay attention to, according to our management team:  

Leverage cultural moments. If we’ve learned anything this year from the “Barbie” movie and Taylor Swift’s The Eras Tour, it's that cultural moments are driving what consumers talk about, share and purchase – repeatedly. Pink reigned supreme, friendship bracelets experienced a resurgence and budgets were no match for concert tickets and movie parties. Brands should set aside resources now and put creative teams in place to be poised to capitalize on the cultural moments sure to come in 2024 that are relevant to their businesses, products and audiences. These moments present opportunities to build awareness, drive sales and cultivate loyalty and fandom. - Kelly Janhunen

Creating a personalized experience becomes more important.  Consumers have come to expect a personalized, human experience from brands. They want to feel a special connection and like they're part of the brand family. A more meaningful and targeted approach can go a long way in building loyal brand followers. Plus, when brands can deliver a community experience with two-way communications channels, it builds trust and authenticity. Data can help with both. Keep an eye on how audience insights and company data can help PR teams create personalized messaging strategies and foster a sense of community.  - Kelly Brown

Continue demonstrating the value of PR/communications. With another economically uncertain year ahead, executives will likely continue tightening budgets across their organizations. To protect PR and marketing budgets, communications professionals will need to highlight the value of their programs and initiatives at every opportunity. Most important is demonstrating how PR and marketing efforts are supporting company-wide goals and driving business impact. Can you articulate how a thought leadership piece established your company as a great place to work, helping attract top talent? What about demonstrating how a newsletter helped drive online sales? By strategically aligning efforts with company priorities, communicators will establish their function as a value-add and necessity when executives are determining where to cut back. - Shannon Mueller

Make your messages memorable. With more companies competing for market and mindshare than ever before, brands need concise and compelling messaging that consumers can easily grasp, digest and recall. Recall is incredibly important for growing a loyal following and your bottom line. So, where do you begin? Start by identifying the single most important takeaway for consumers to remember about your brand, and then boil it down to a simple yet catchy phrase or sentence, like AT&T’s recognizable “more bars in more places.” Stick to this core messaging and repeat it ad nauseum across all earned, owned and paid channels so it becomes synonymous with your brand. Those with overly complex, jargon-heavy value propositions and differentiators will get lost in the shuffle. - Libby Pinkerton

Protect against macro volatility. Americans’ trust in government, media and business has hit new lows. Geopolitical events threaten the stability of world markets, with unforeseeable implications. The presidential election of 2024 will be unlike any in our history. Forward-thinking companies and brands must assess risks and engage in scenario planning to ensure they’re prepared for economic, societal and reputational shocks. - Paul Raab

AI is here to stay. PR practitioners who’ve been cautious around generative AI-powered tools need to jump in and learn how to best leverage this technology, so they understand it and to work smarter and faster. According to Muck Rack’s State of AI in PR 2023 report, 61% of PR pros say they already use AI or plan to explore it. From conducting research and writing email subject lines, to finding journalists and analyzing large volumes of text or data, AI platforms can be a great place to spark ideas for your storytelling efforts. As the technology continues to grow and improve, PR professionals will be expected to integrate this technology into current workflows to not fall behind the competition. - Kelly Hoskinson