June Industry Trends Report

As we dive into summer, we’d like everyone to remain up-to-date on what’s trending in the communications and marketing industry. This month, we discuss recent findings in artificial intelligence, digital health and innovative updates to Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

Pride on Social

Pride month ends this weekend and social media did not disappoint with posts capturing images and video of parades around the world, LGBTQ issue advocacy campaigns, 2020 presidential candidates voicing support for the LGBTQ community, and more. Facebook took advantage of the timing to add features to be a part of the festivities and promote more visibility for Pride fans and advocates.

Instagram added an update this month to put a rainbow gradient on posts that utilize popular Pride-related hashtags like #lgbtq or #pride2019. Instagram also updated their gender options for user profiles looking to build a more inclusive platform. Users now have the ability to customize their gender preference when personalizing their accounts, allowing them to clearly state how they identify. Facebook also provided rainbow backgrounds to their updates feature. 

While seemingly cosmetic, these additions allow the LGBTQ+ community to extend Pride online, bringing connections and celebrations into the virtual world. Within the communications industry, these updates provide a unique opportunity to connect clients with LGBTQ+ customers on their own turf. 

Health Gone Digital

With the steady digitization of the healthcare industry well underway, companies and hospitals are revitalizing their communication tactics by adapting to an e-communications system. E-healthcare is dominating the health industry because it provides consumers with a convenient customer experience. Mary Meeker’s annual Internet Trends report reveals why the healthcare community has made this successful turn:

Telemedicine

Hospitals have become quite dependant on telemedicine systems, especially since Electronic Health Records (EHR) are nearing 100 percent adoption rate in the U.S.—according to Meeker’s report. Mobile prescription refills cater to all consumers and enhance the medical experience by providing a solution that benefits everyone. It is cost-efficient, easily accessible, and fosters more engagement between patients and doctors.

Tools

Companies are taking their online ventures one step further by revitalizing the way consumers communicate with healthcare professionals. Tools like Doximity, Teladoc, and Zocdoc have become increasingly popular due to high consumer demand. For example, Doximity, an online social networking service for medical professionals, facilitates a stream of communication between physicians, which increases their ability to address unique cases.

Most people don’t realize that referring patients to the appropriate specialist isn’t always easy for physicians,” said Doximity CEO/ Co-Founder Jeff Tangney. “Our network makes that process seamless.



Tech Contribution

Major tech companies including Amazon, Apple and Google are actively working to increase healthcare industry innovation by offering features that enhance consumer experience and health outcomes. With the increased adoption of EHR, companies like Apple have developed tools to help patients easily store medical information, manage their health and conduct research through Apple’s ResearchKit.

Let’s Link: Tag me

LinkedIn has made strides to stay up-to-date with social trends by adding two new features that are bound to spark conversation. The professional development platform now offers the option to send videos through direct message and tag others in your photo posts. 

Why should I care? 

It is no secret that the use of videos to convey a message will increase effectiveness and engagement on social platforms. Capitalizing on this trend, LinkedIn now allows users to send videos in a private message. 

This LinkedIn photo tagging feature was adopted by Instagram in 2013 and Snapchat just last year. LinkedIn recently announced the feature as one of their newest updates – tagging will be an integral component in your business venture, making it easier to gain traction to your page. 

The Risks of Deepfakes

As professional marketers, we know that the increase in fake news is causing serious problems. Whether it’s brand misidentification, politicians misrepresented or scandalized reputations, the increase of what is being called, “deepfakes” is causing major disruption. 

This is important in the communications world as authentic content is crucial for outreach and marketing. At their best, deepfakes can be used for special effects and to develop inexpensive content for films. However, at their worst, they can be used to spread very serious misinformation, especially across digital. The “spread” is important because before it is recognized as false, it likely was viewed by thousands if not hundreds of thousands of times on social media. (Apparently, when the Washington Post asked Facebook for a response as to why the internet giant did not take down the distorted Nancy Pelosi video sooner, they responded in a  statement, “we don’t have a policy that stipulates that the information you post on Facebook must be true.”)

The NYU Tandon School of Engineering is working on an innovative way to combat this crisis; by using neural networks to implant “watermarks” on visual content, deepfakes can be exposed. They hope to be able to embed this software directly into cameras, combating many deepfake tactics at their point of origin. 

Nasir Memon, a computer science and engineering professor at NYU Tandon explained that “if the camera itself produces an image that is more sensitive to tampering, any adjustments will be detected with high probability,” instilling confidence for the future of fighting this type of falsified content. Hopefully, as more research comes to fruition, this online divide between fantasy and reality can be bridged. 

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That’s a wrap for this month! Don’t forget to check in next month for another update on all things PR and communications. Also, make sure to sign up for our DC Communicators email to learn more about our upcoming events!



Shykeia Spinks

Fellow
Shykeia’s curiosity and adventurous mindset has crafted her into diligent communications professional. She recently graduated from Howard University with a B.A. in Communications, with a concentration in Public Relations. In her spare time, you can catch her re-watching her favorite television series.

Sonia Del Rivo

Fellow
Sonia is a California native who earned her B.S. in Decision Science from Carnegie Mellon University. Her love for communications is rooted in bridging the gap behind the hard data of human decision making and marketing. When not in the office, she loves scoping out new products at Trader Joes, going to concerts, and taking Instagram photos. 



About Proof Strategies

With 275+ awards for client work and industry leadership, the independently owned Proof family of companies (Proof Strategies, Inc., Proof, Inc., Proof Experiences, Inc.) has over 165 staff members in offices in Toronto, Montréal, Ottawa, Vancouver and Washington, D.C., and annual fee income of $30 million. As a brand steward to some of North America’s most respected and well-known companies, the firm’s strategic approach is guided by data-driven research, deep subject expertise, smart creative and meticulous measurement. A corporate leader in the age of climate change, Proof Strategies, Inc. has been carbon neutral since 2008.



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