PRCA announces ‘'16 for ‘16’: 16 recommendations for great communications in 2016


The PRCA has launched the following 16 recommendations for great communications in 2016, following a review of insights and blogposts from senior PRCA members including its PR Council and Board of Management.

This list of recommendations will be debated at the PRCA’s half day conference, ‘2016: The Year of…’, which takes place on the morning of 28th January in London. For more information, click here

1. Move beyond traditional stereotypes: Think post-demographics, beyond the obsession with putting people in neat boxes, and instead engage with them based on shared interests or human emotions.

2. Brands and the media move closer together: Brands and media companies continue to integrate, creating ever more meaningful audiences and content. Expect to see more brands buying media companies and creative branded content collaborations with TV channels and publishers.

3. Embrace video: With the growth in engagement via smartphones comes an increased focus on real-time, short-form, visual communication. And vlogger power will continue unabated in in 2016.

4. The integration challenge deepens: The need to offer tight integration of paid, owned, shared and earned means that the winning consultancies will be the ones with the broadest portfolios. Think programmatic, influencers, algorithms and paid amplification.

5. Communications tools that really work: The latest developments in tech for the communications industry promise the ability to run far more targeted campaigns, with greater predictability of outcomes, better engagement with audiences and at lower cost.

6. Ad blockers: The advent of these advert killers provides just another reason why engaging content and the ability to have conversations will play a more important role in the communications mix in 2016.

7. Creativity at speed: Spot opportunities to respond to real-time events and use them intelligently on social media to resonate with a target audience in a matter of minutes.

8. Virtual Reality: Mainstream Virtual Reality will bring an additional dimension to campaigns, taking news stories, ads, films or gaming to new immersive levels.

9. Create physical experiences: Going beyond experiential gimmickry, practical and semi-permanent physical presences - like IBM’s rain shelters that doubled as ads - will fascinate in 2016.

10. Relinquish control over content: Campaigns will have to live and breathe on third party channels and we should say goodbye to clumsy calls to action or forced visits to external websites.

11. Social purpose: Knowing your brand’s true social purpose will be the only way to present a reliable positive image based on human truths, avoid accusations of inconsistency and prevent the say/do gap.

12. Transparency in a crisis: 2016 will see more global firms respond to challenging business issues which threaten their corporate reputation with brave transparency, behaving with authenticity.

13. Data and privacy: The expectation of increased cyber-attacks and data breaches, and the continuing debate over personal privacy, will mean that this remains a huge issue in 2016, and a huge reputational challenge for all large companies.

14. Use the European debate: Whether the EU referendum is delayed until 2017, or, as the PM prefers, held later this year, it will be the most hotly-debated issue across business, media and society during 2016.

15. Environmentalism: Freak weather events and the Paris Climate Change Conference have all put the environment back on the public and political agenda, with personal commitments increasingly communicated through food buying.

16. The Olympics: Prepare for samba-and-carnival themed campaigns from brands aiming to tie in with the Rio Games, not to mention sponsorship activation from Olympic partners.

For further reading, please take a look at the full list of blogposts, here.


About PRCA

Who we are: Founded in 1969, the PRCA is the largest PR association in Europe, representing 18,000 people in agencies, in-house communications teams, and individuals. The PRCA promotes all aspects of public relations and internal communications work, helping teams and individuals maximise the value they deliver to clients and organisations.


What we do: The Association exists to raise standards in PR and communications, providing members with industry data, facilitating the sharing of communications best practice and creating networking opportunities.


How we do it and make a difference: All PRCA members are bound by a professional charter and codes of conduct, and benefit from exceptional training. The Association also works for the greater benefit of the industry, sharing best practice and lobbying on the industry's behalf e.g. fighting the NLA's digital licence.


Who we represent: The PRCA represents many of the major consultancies in the UK, and currently has more than 350 agency members from around the world, including the majority of the top 150 UK consultancies. We also represent over 250 in-house communications teams from multinationals, UK charities and leading UK public sector organisations.

photo:Matt Cartmell
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Matt Cartmell
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