We Asked The Experts: What PR Trends Will Shape 2024?

We’ve collected industry expert predictions on trends that will shape PR in 2024.

The primary objective of Public Relations (PR) is to enhance the image of its clients, ensuring they are kept competitive, standing out from the crowd, and staying ahead of the curve. However, the PR industry itself must also continually evolve and improve to meet the changing demands…

We asked a panel of industry experts to give their predictions on what trends they think will shape PR next year…


Our Experts

  • Jane Griffin – Founder and Director of Positive Story
  • Rich Leigh – Founder of Radioactive PR
  • Todd Barrish – President and Founder of Indicate Media
  • Sam Brunt – Head of PR at I-COM
  • Robert Bownes – CEO of Old Street Communications
  • Leila Jones – Senior PR Specialist at Active Profile
  • Lottie West – Head of Global PR at Fox Agency
  • Jason Weekes – Commercial Director at CARMA
  • Becca Douglas – Chief Marketing Officer at brandXchange
  • Jacki Vause – CEO of Dimoso and Co-Host of The Rest is PR
  • Ilona Hitel – Founder of CommsCo
  • Sarah Woodhouse – Director at AMBITIOUS PR
  • Megan Boyle – Head of Content and Digital PR at TAL Agency
  • Mary Poliakova – PR consultant, Co-founder & COO of Drofa Comms
  • Mark Pinsent – Managing Director, Europe, at The Hoffman Agency
  • Lucy Moore – Associate Director at Refresh


Jane Griffin, Founder and Director of Positive Story


Jane Griffin


“I predict three main trends in PR in 2024 – the accelerated integration of AI, a heightened emphasis on trust and a focus on empathy.

“AI’s role in content creation is still evolving but tools like Chat GPT, Bard and Magic Studio are already streamlining tasks and allowing us humans more time for creativity. However, ethical considerations of AI will become even more important in PR, following the lead of media outlets like The Guardian and The Daily Telegraph, who are taking a cautious approach towards the use of AI and emphasising transparency.

“Continuing a theme, trust has become more important than ever. A recent legacy of political scandals, failing businesses and fake news has impacted what the public believes, so PR practitioners will be spending much of their time this year working on building trust and credibility for their clients.

“With the impact of the Ukraine War, cost of living crisis and energy rises, I believe there will also be a shift towards more empathetic communication. This will become a key part of successful PR campaigns, which aim not only to engage but to inspire, creating content that resonates deeply and forges authentic connections.”


Rich Leigh, Founder of Radioactive PR



“We can’t look ahead in PR without looking immediately backwards – and Christ, as with the wider media, it’s been a topsy-turvy few years.

“In terms of recovery to pre-Covid levels of recruitment, ‘advertising, marketing and PR’ is one of the worst-hit industries. We’re still seeing agencies shutting up shop as many – quietly – try to make sense of a bruised industry. I don’t think I’ve spoken to a single agency founder in the last year or two that hasn’t either made redundancies or ummed and ahhed over the need to replace outgoing staff.

“Client caution with regards to spending is as prevalent, or perhaps even more so, than it was in 2008 when I first started working in PR, during the Credit Crunch. It has meant more short-term projects and fewer retainers – with more companies taking on PR themselves, or doing away with it while they tie scoutknots in their purse strings.

“The shiny lure of AI isn’t going to have PR agency bosses rushing to spend already-squeezed margins on new employees. Brand budgets will hopefully balance back out as people realise PR and true brand-building can’t be replaced by paid-social spending, but I think the recent-years influx of SEO cash into link-building will, mostly, be spent elsewhere.

“Where AI and PR intersect, I’ve been learning and playing out loud, creating a press release draft GPT, an early-stage creative campaign tool and even a digital replica of myself, trained on 100,000+ words I’ve written over the years.

“My main takeaway from it all is: 1) AI right now is as helpful as a smart intern – and that’s not worth nothing, and 2) PR succeeds where AI can’t: for now.

“We win out with our human connections and, as corny as it sounds, our ability to be storytellers, finding editorially interesting stories in brands and businesses (that don’t read like advertising), and then in choosing the right channel to share those stories, reaching and influencing our clients’ target audiences.

“In 2024, PR picks itself up and, in the immortal words of Rocky Balboa, finds out that it’s not about how hard you get hit, but that it’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.”

Todd Barrish, President and Founder of Indicate Media



“As we step into 2024, the public relations industry, like many others, is poised for a transformative shift driven by artificial intelligence. AI tools will play a pivotal role in developing compelling storylines that are directly tailored to specific audiences. AI will not only automate tasks, giving PR pros back valuable time but it will be used to analyze data and predict trends, enabling the industry to better anticipate and respond to daily news cycles. We will also see a greater emphasis on tying PR directly to desired business outcomes.
“On the media front, there will be new and innovative methods for pitching and securing media. AI offers the capability to identify unique story angles and develop personalized pitches for journalists. Building better relationships, developing exclusive content, and utilizing multimedia, will be key to success.
“2024 is about adaptability and a forward-thinking approach to public relations.”


Sam Brunt, Head of PR at I-COM



“There are a number of challenges and opportunities presenting themselves within the PR space in 2024. Most drastically the advent of technologies such as generative AI means that the skillset of the PR practitioner is set to shift slightly over the next 12 months. AI technologies that can take on some of the more simple writing challenges mean that the creativity of PR professionals is becoming more and more important.

“Utilising AI programmes allows PR professionals to gain efficiencies and improve their productivity for their clients. However, it is key that the content that they are producing does not become generic as a result. Merging the efficiency of AI and the creative skills of your PR team is becoming more and more essential when it comes to staying at the forefront of the industry.”


For any questions, comments or features, please contact us directly.



Robert Bownes, CEO of Old Street Communications



“This year saw generative AI capturing the imagination of the public and business world alike. Much has been made about how it can automate or simplify a lot of processes – especially in marketing and communications. Some businesses are already using generative AI to create PR copy such as press releases and this trend is likely to increase substantially in 2024.
“This poses a challenge for the PR industry because it can lead businesses, especially SMEs with tighter budgets, to believe that they do not require specialist communications support. The reality is that the copy produced by services like ChatGPT is often far from perfect and creating a pitch or press release is a much more nuanced process than most businesses appreciate. It is also only a small part of what PR specialists do.
“Journalists are likely to be increasingly overwhelmed by a deluge of poorly crafted and targeted AI pitches. This will make it much harder for legitimate stories to break through. On the other hand, there is also likely to be a proliferation of new-gen AI-powered publications that churn out low-quality news articles based on these releases.
“As a result, we will see a further slide in media standards. Businesses that go down the gen AI route and churn out low-quality pitches that end up securing coverage in low-quality AI-driven publications will soon realise that it has little to no impact on their commercial goals. There will be an opportunity for quality PR agencies to further differentiate themselves by focusing solely on higher quality, non-AI generated content.”

Leila Jones, Senior PR Specialist at Active Profile



“In the age of Google’s E-E-A-T (Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness) guidelines, which impacts how online content is ranked, it’s more important than ever to put your experts at the forefront of your PR efforts to get results.

“It’s time to let your team shine. There’s a lot of insight to be unlocked by getting someone on a call and letting them brain-dump their thoughts for your content. It might not be the person with the loudest voice, but the ones who are squirrelling away in the background, working with customers and products daily. A lot of brands make the mistake of making their CEO the only spokesperson.

“If you can back up their insights with your own data – that’s going to hit the trustworthiness pillar. In 2024, we’ll see lots of brands experiment with this – leveraging data analytics to uncover trends – from using sales data to show customer behaviour, to using customer satisfaction surveys to make predictions. There’s more value using your own unique data in PR, than finding a third-party source.

“Ultimately, the PR teams who understand the power of expertise combined with data are the ones that will win.”

Lottie West, Head of Global PR at Fox Agency



“2024 will be the year that businesses get serious about comms. We’ve seen over the last few years that marketing and sales becoming ever more deeply aligned, and ROI is being scrutinised closely as pressure on budgets mounts. Historically comms has faced challenges when it comes to demonstrating its commercial impact, and the relationship reputation, awareness, and brand perceptions have with sales is more nuanced and less linear. However, the dial started to shift. Particularly in the US, we have seen the communications function elevated to c-suite status, with businesses recognising the impact of reputation on a company’s bottom line.

 “With ESG an increasingly important factor for investors and end customers alike, ensuring that a business is able to communicate complex messaging and navigate potentially damaging situations is hugely valuable. Alongside this, the role of internal comms – previously a function of HR, is increasingly handled by the comms team, as brands recognise the importance of employee advocacy and managing messaging, particularly around challenging and sensitive situations.

“Recent research from the CIPR suggest UK boards are lagging behind their US counterparts when it comes to representation of comms, but I think we will see this start to shift over the course of 2024, as CEOs become increasingly reliant on good comms and reputation management to help maintain brand equity.”

Jason Weekes, Commercial Director at CARMA



The appetite for social media will remain, particularly for journalists looking to increase the reach of their editorial articles, which presents an opportunity for PRs. With the big bang of AI in the mainstream, journalists are using social media to break news and connect with their audience. This trend will be amplified as more editorial media is published on platforms like Instagram and Twitter. The need for PRs to measure these channels will follow to demonstrate the impact of their activity on clients.

“A byproduct of expanding measurement strategies will be PRs increasing their social and search listening. The old volume-based metrics for measuring communication are becoming less relevant as clients look for ways to measure target audience engagement. An awareness of how users engage with earned media through merchandising on other channels will lead to more interest in what the public is searching around your brand – it is an unfiltered insight into brand associations.”

For any questions, comments or features, please contact us directly.



Becca Douglas, Chief Marketing Officer at brandXchange



“In 2024, PR is poised to witness changes, which will be guided by several key trends that will redefine the way brands engage with their audiences. Humanising brands stands out as a pivotal focus, shifting the narrative from traditional marketing approaches to fostering authentic connections.

“Beyond transactional customer relationships, brands are recognising the importance of building a genuine rapport with their audiences, understanding that audiences extend beyond mere consumers. The emphasis is on crafting narratives that resonate on a human level, evoking emotions and fostering a sense of shared values. This shift towards humanisation represents a deeper, more nuanced understanding of the diverse identities that make up an audience, acknowledging their individuality and crafting narratives that speak directly to their experiences.

“The evolution from Web 2.0 to Web 3.0 is another trend that will significantly impact PR strategies. Web 3.0, characterised by decentralised, user-centric experiences, will redefine the digital landscape. Brands will need to adapt their PR approaches to navigate this new paradigm, where the traditional gatekeepers of information are replaced by decentralised networks. This shift demands a more participatory and transparent approach to communication, engaging audiences in co-creating narratives rather than broadcasting messages. The impact of Web 3.0 on PR will be profound, as brands grapple with the challenges and opportunities presented by a more democratized digital ecosystem.

“Hyperpersonalisation emerges is one of my personal favourite trends going into 2024 and we will see communication strategies transcend the one-size-fits-all approaches. With advanced data analytics and AI-driven insights, brands can tailor their messages with unprecedented precision, addressing the unique needs and preferences of individual audience members.

“This hyperpersonalised approach ensures that PR efforts are not only relevant but also resonate on a personal level, creating a profound impact. However, it also brings forth the challenge of balancing personalisation with privacy concerns, requiring brands to navigate this delicate terrain ethically.”

Jacki Vause, CEO of Dimoso and Co-Host of The Rest is PR



“My predictions for PR is that strategic messaging and tight audience definition are going to be critical to success in an increasingly content-swamped world. AI-created content will start to proliferate and dazzle the search algorithms. PR has an opportunity to make its outreach shine and really make a critical impact if its messages resonate with its stakeholders on the channels where they are influenced.

“This means that we have to work harder with strategic messaging and this means making our clients or internal C-Suite put communications strategy at the very top of their priorities for 2024. The problem is that PR is too often an afterthought, especially in a cost-challenged world. Businesses that recognise that it’s not necessarily what you do but the way that you do it will be more likely to succeed.”


Ilona Hitel, Founder of CommsCo



“The market will continue to be uncertain as we head into 2024 but investment in specific sectors such as AI, retail/sustainability/healthcare tech will continue.

“AI and quantum especially will be the focus areas in UK tech.

“Global/macro events will continue to disrupt the news agenda, PRs need to plan around and for them.

“More for less – PRs need to think about how to offer other services outside of the much competed for media agenda – such as lead gen, digital and events – all increasingly in demand.

“AI in PR – using tools to enhance agency productivity will be key whilst maintaining an emphasis on human relationships and creativity.

“LinkedIn – the new platform of choice, wins over uncertainty with X amongst B2B communities.”


Sarah Woodhouse, Director at AMBITIOUS PR



“I predict that trust signals are going to become increasingly important in 2024.

“Not only are trust signals such as customer reviews and testimonials, client lists, and industry accreditations important for today’s more cautious customers, but they’re also incredibly important to Google.

“Google is consistently trying to determine how trustworthy a brand’s website is in the same way that potential customers are in order to rank its search position. Therefore, third-party endorsement is going to be a requisite for brands in 2024. PR is pivotal to this.   

“Google’s algorithm is intuitive enough to know whether an endorsement is part of a link spamming strategy, favouring links from trustworthy and reliable sources. John Mueller from Google explains that a ‘high-value backlink from a major news website is worth more than “millions” of low-quality links.’  

“This means that investment in PR pays off two-fold; increasing the trust of customers and potential customers and also increasing the trust of Google which will rank the brand’s site more highly.  

In 2024, PR’s stock is on the rise. CEOs are recognising that while marketers speak to prospects and customers, PR professionals engage with all audiences. This could include stakeholders, suppliers, investors, analysts, think tanks, regulators prospective and current employees. In this age of purpose and bringing people on a journey with you PR has a key role in driving strategic communications, building understanding and earning trust signals from an organisation’s public.  

 “We see employer branding as a critical component of any business looking to market itself. From recruitment drives and reputation management – to communicating brand values and culture both internally and externally – having a proactive employer brand strategy keeps a business in control of the company’s image and champions a positive workplace culture with proactive communications at its core. The workforce will continue to grow as powerful brand advocates, a communications channel to be embraced more than ever.”


For any questions, comments or features, please contact us directly.



Megan Boyle, Head of Content and Digital PR at TAL Agency



“While communications between PRs and journalists has always been tricky, I think 2024 will bring a lot of these challenges to a head. We’ve already seen Reach PLC move away from traditional email communications with their partnership with Synapse to try and combat the sheer amount of content in their inboxes, and there’s always the chance we’ll see other agencies or publications make similar moves.

“The issue on the PR end of things is that there’s yet another platform that’s needed to go through in order to maximise coverage for press releases and comments in an industry. People are already balancing countless tools, platforms and softwares to get results, and this is yet another platform in the mix. From the journalist point of view though, this makes a lot of sense. Their inboxes are already constantly flooded with pitches that make finding relevant pieces near-impossible, and the advent of AI tools is only going to make things worse. Many PR tools have introduced AI features that go far beyond recommending you relevant journalists, with some even writing intros and entire pitches for you – I can’t imagine this has been friendly for journalists’ inboxes.

“Despite the various (and valid) concerns surrounding the use of AI in the PR and Comms industry, it without a doubt is going to provide many opportunities in 2024. There’s massive potential for it to streamline PR operations, especially when it comes to time-intensive tasks such as list building or media monitoring. I’d be surprised if we don’t see extensive use of tools that build perfectly tailored email lists for your pitches, immediately report client coverage, and collate relevant news for your client’s industries that you can use as a springboard for new releases. AI is set to shake up the vast majority of creative industries, and PR and Comms is no different.

“This is a pipe dream, as I don’t think we’ll ever see it really go away, but being told that you need to pay a fee for article placement after you’ve already submitted a comment to the journalist/publication is one trend I’d love to see the back of. Obviously your comment being used is never guaranteed, but working on something that you then find out never had a chance of being featured if you’re working without a budget feels like a huge waste of both yours and your client’s time. It also ends up in a “pay-to-win” system where quality content is skipped over in place of those who can afford to pay the often extortionate fees for placement and a link. Not to mention Google is cracking down on paid links more than ever before – so less of this please!”


Mary Poliakova, Co-founder & COO of Drofa Comms



“The prevailing trend in the financial landscape, extending seamlessly from 2023 into 2024, revolves around the democratisation of technology access. Advanced solutions are not only becoming more attainable but are also progressing rapidly, driven by the forces of AI and the decentralised market.

The financial technology sector is undergoing tectonic shifts, and the attention of an increasing number of venture capitalists is particularly focused on early-stage startups. VC builders and studios are actively aligning their investments with this trend, supporting the development of new products through experienced, specialised teams and their executives.

In this evolving landscape where early-stage startups are in the spotlight, effective PR emerges as a crucial tool for personal brand promotion and communicating the underlying ideas behind products or services. During the early stages of business development, investors keenly scrutinise these aspects, seeking strong business leaders with impeccable reputations driving robust projects.

Therefore, I anticipate that in 2024, personal brand PR and executive communications will play a pivotal role – especially in the fintech market. The responsibility of PR firms in conveying information about projects to both investors and the public is likewise poised to increase significantly.”

Mark Pinsent, Managing Director, Europe, at The Hoffman Agency



“Over the past year, PR professionals (along with every creative industry) have been trying to work out how best to use AI. It’s such a big topic that I couldn’t do justice in a few words. Instead, I’ll focus on one important – and perhaps less widely discussed – use case for AI in our sector: translation.

“We’re already seeing some media outlets use AI translation tools to republish content for local audiences. In fact, a handful of IT trade outlets that we work with in the U.K. have picked up “.de” or “.fr” domain names over the past year. This provides ample opportunity for multi-market PR agencies like ours, as it can help us elevate the reach for certain types of content we pitch to media.

“However, with AI translations set to be used even more in 2024, PR professionals should proceed with caution. Large Language Models are getting increasingly sophisticated and we can use AI to do the legwork for basic types of content like press releases. But when it comes to more complex or nuanced content (such as this type of comment), an AI-generated translation won’t cut the mustard. I mean, that phrase alone would spark confusion among German readers if it was translated literally.

“So, as we look towards 2024, localisation will be a major differentiator – by this, I mean content that is taken away and translated, but then restructured and rewritten for local audiences. Unless there’s a quantum breakthrough in how AI is trained and thinks, we’ll rely on native-speaking human experts to do this.”


Lucy Moore, Associate Director at Refresh



“There’s never a dull day in PR and that’s not going to change in 2024. We’re already seeing decreasing journalist numbers and the proliferation of AI making it trickier to secure press coverage en masse. So, good press contacts and an eye for a great story will become more important than ever. I expect we’ll see an even bigger focus on creating bespoke feature packages for journalists rather than sending a release to hundreds and hoping that it lands – a dated strategy.

“In the same vein, campaigns will evolve away from having an exclusive reliance on press coverage and instead move towards a more integrated model – at Refresh we’re advocates of the PESO (paid, earned, shared owned) model as it means brands aren’t pinning the entirety of their PR strategy on earned coverage. It’s healthy to have a mix of the four and is actually much more effective if strategized correctly.

“We’ll also see continued focus on ESG and sustainability in communications. As increasing numbers of businesses make purchasing decisions based on this, firms have to take these issues more seriously. Businesses that don’t currently do enough in terms of ESG can’t and shouldn’t greenwash but they must make a plan for how they can make improvements in this area – even if it is just small steps.

“Finally, whether people like it or not, AI is here to stay so I expect we’ll see many PR pros taking it more seriously and figuring out where it can optimise processes. Personally, I don’t believe it’ll ever be a replacement for human-led creativity and communications, but there are definitely ways PR pros could be using it to save time in order to funnel more resources into those irreplaceable human-led tasks.”

For any questions, comments or features, please contact us directly.