Fever Predicts: 2024

2024 is well and truly upon us in all its grey, January glory. 

But what does this year have in store? Will we be saying goodbye to Tube Girl and hello to Bus Boy? Will X continue to see an X-odus? Will we ever get to see a cage fight between Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg? And will we be seeing Rishi Sunak or Keir Starmer in I’m a Celeb come the end of the year? Whilst we can’t answer these burning questions, we CAN look into the comms crystal ball. 

So grab a cuppa and read on to find out what our team of crack comms specialists think ‘24 has in store…

THIS TIME IT’S PERSONAL(ISED) 

Forget a new year diet (seriously, it’s not what January should be about): this year we expect people to be changing their media diet, with more personalisation, and more people taking agency of what media they consume and how. 

People will be remixing and resetting their media intake, with Substack, alongside newer kids on the block such as beehiiv, gathering subscribers who seek out the writers they trust, focusing on the subjects they care about. Plus AI-led platforms such as Artifact are likely to grow in popularity with its tailored, digestible offering looking increasingly appealing. 

So comms pros need to strike a balance between mass awareness vs more niche engagement, helping brands chart a course through this more tailor-made media landscape. 

TURBULENT TONALITY 

We expect 2024 to be another turbulent year. The ongoing challenges of war, climate change, a cost of living crisis, along with US, EU and UK elections (and associated disinformation and lack of trust in governments and power) means there’s a lot to dominate our news pages and the hearts and minds of the public.

It means brands need to carefully navigate their role and tone of voice. There’s no doubt that consumers are going to need some respite from all the doom and gloom – so providing some playful and entertaining escapism, whether through social content, brand campaigns or partnerships, may be the way to go, as long as they are mindful of the wider political and economical context.

AI-AI CREATOR! 🏴‍☠️

As the continued evolution and massive growth in AI, AI services and AI tool usage continues, it won’t be a surprise to learn that many creators are now including AI tools in their workflow. This is something we’ll likely see continue to grow as they look for ways to assist their creative and content delivery process. 

There are obviously a number of benefits, as well as risks, involved here: more efficient workflows mean that creators have more time to nail scripts, shoots, setting up scenes and the creative input needed to pull projects together. 

However, the blind trust in AI tools does mean some mistakes will slip through cracks and as agencies we’ll need to be even more vigilant when it comes to checking work and, in some instances, IP to ensure everything is above board. Provided requisite review processes stay in place and attention to detail remains high, the new age of AI-assisted creator content could well turn out to be a boon in the arsenal of creator and marketing services agencies in the pursuit of turning out better work. 

BUILDING (BACK) TRUST 

On a similar vein, with high-profile scandals rocking the status quo in 2023 and early 2024, it’s time for brands to take control and build back trust with consumers. 

The past decade has rocked consumer trust, with inflation, interest rate hikes, conflict, instability, and a rocky political landscape; Elon Musk’s X may claim to be opening the platform up to free speech, but we’ve also seen social media used to spread “fake news”. According to GWI, whilst many of us now source our news from social platforms, only 15% of people say they trust them.

Brand comms need to centre around openness to build back trust with consumers who are now inherently sceptical about authority and companies. 

EMPATHETIC COMMS

In a polarised and polarising election year against the backdrop of societal stressors, rising prices and a culture of mistrust and suspicion, brands must connect with their audience on an emotional level that meets their needs at that time and place: whether that’s by reassuring, inspiring or entertaining. 

As the cost of living bites, brands must be laser focused on delivering greater value to their audience, whether that’s through a product USP, genuinely interesting content or free experiences.

BOUNDARY BLURRED MEDIA  

With an increasingly shrinking and more digital-first pool of media titles and ‘efficiencies’ (god we hate that word) streamlining editorial teams, there is more pressure than ever to showcase the value of PR within the wider marketing mix whilst also getting the attention of press who are ever more stretched and time poor. Now, more than ever, PR teams need to showcase creativity and flexibility to deliver. 

These hurdles will challenge us to think creatively and find new ways to drive cut-through, but also provide opportunity to integrate more closely with influencer and social as the lines continue to blur. Social editorial, SEO and affiliate strategies need to be baked into EVERY comms plan. 

 

So there you have it. A whistle stop tour of the trends likely to dominate the comms agenda in 2024. We may not know what colour flag will be raised this year when it comes to dating, or the next trend to sweep through TikTok( as long as it’s not blueberry milk nails we’re ok). But we DO know what 2024 is going to look like when it comes to how brands need to interact with their audiences.

If you’d like to hear more, please get in touch: info@feverpr.com

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