We live in an era of deepfakes, AI and proliferating social media use. We no longer rely solely on print newspapers and magazines to stay informed. A simple “BREAKING” tweet has the power to instantly change the course of an evolving narrative, tank stocks and trigger a spiral of false information.

How did we get here? In short: technology.

Technology has evolved rapidly in the past few decades, and it regularly disrupts industries and changes the way we live. One of the unintended consequences of this disruption, however, is the erosion of our ability to tell what’s real and what was created by a human. How can we effectively communicate when new technologies are constantly changing the way we interpret language?

To answer that and other questions, the USC Annenberg Center for Public relations surveyed over 2,000 CEOs, PR pros and students. Their report included some startling findings:

  • 62% of those surveyed agreed that, in five years, the average person will not be able to distinguish between paid, earned, shared and owned media.
  • 61% of PR pros believe that the technological changes in media will result in average citizens being more misinformed over the next five years.
  • Social media will play a major role in future communication strategies, with each of the following platforms driving over 30% of responders to claim it will be more important in the next five years: YouTube (48%), Instagram (46%), LinkedIn (35%), Twitter (31%), Facebook (30%).
  • Technical skills are highly prized, with each of the following skills being believed necessary by over 50% of responders for future PR professionals to be successful: big data analytics (65%), video production (59%), search engine optimization (59%), digital design (54%), user experience (53%).

As technology continues to evolve, so will the communications landscape. The blurring of paid, earned, shared and owned media will further blur the lines between marketing and PR, which are predicted to work even more hand in hand in the years to come. At RH Strategic, we’re preparing for this shift by investing in new technologies and resources to enable us to produce media for a variety of platforms.

Want to find out what we can do for you? Drop us a line.


RH Strategic is a Seattle and D.C.-based communications firm providing strategic public relations for innovators in the technology, public sector and healthcare markets.