October Industry Trends Report

October 2018 Digital Marketing and Public Relations News

As the temperature, color of leaves and season begin to change, the ever dynamic landscape of public relations continues to change with it. If you are like me and have been busy soaking up these last bits of summer, then you’ve found keeping up with the latest industry news has not taken priority. Luckily, Proof Strategies has got you covered. Here’s our October inside scoop.

 

Shop Til You Drop (Your Phone)

According to a recent report, Instagram plans to roll out a standalone shopping app called “IG Shopping,” which will enable merchants and brands to promote and sell their wares. Instagram has been working tirelessly to make the online shopping experience more user-friendly within their application.

How will this be different than the in application shopping they already have? Well, the biggest difference is that this will be a completely different application on your phone, dedicated only to shopping. It’s not clear if Instagram’s current e-commerce features would remain within the original application or be moved to the dedicated shopping app.

It could be a while before a shopping app from Instagram makes its way to our phones, but we’ll be sure to update if it happens.

 

Lifeline During Natural Disasters

Social media has become an extremely useful and life-saving tool during natural disasters. They can be most helpful during times of need for acquiring information and news, locating people and communicating with loved ones and authorities. A recent study found that the use of mobile phones, email and social media increased after natural disasters and surpassed the use of more conventional methods of communication such as landline phones.

But you must be mindful of “fake news” even during a serious natural disaster. As Hurricane Florence neared the East Coast earlier this month, people circulated falsified news. As you monitor for news, be mindful of what you are reading and only relay credible content on your personal social media channels.

 

A Social Media Break Up

Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, Instagram co-founders, have resigned and plan to leave the company in the coming weeks. Both founders shared the same heartfelt post on their personal Instagram feeds to share the news about their departure. Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook CEO, responded in a statement saying, “I’ve learned a lot working with them for the past six years and have really enjoyed it. I wish them all the best and I’m looking forward to seeing what they build next.”

And yet, according to TechCrunch, tensions regarding Instagram’s autonomy have increased over the year between Instagram and Facebook’s leadership. Now that the founders have left, what does this mean for the future of Instagram? Omar Akhtar, an analyst at the technology research firm Altimeter, says, “Instagram is the only platform that is growing. And a lot of people didn’t necessarily make the connection between Instagram and Facebook.” This disconnect from its parent company has allowed Instagram to have its own voice and success, especially after the Cambridge Analytica fiasco. Akhtar believes it would be in their best interest to not make any drastic changes within the application and to keep the platform as-is to continue its success.

 

Trimming Down the Character Count

Weight Watchers has decided to slim down and rebrand to WW, in what they say marks “the next stage of the company’s evolution.” The company says the new name reflects the organization’s movement from focusing on weight loss to focusing on overall health and wellness.

In addition to the name change comes a new visual brand identity including a new logo, color palette, and font. This is in tandem with new initiatives that will help facilitate the shift in thinking about only losing weight to a more holistic approach of overall wellness. Some of these initiatives include partnerships with other brands that pride themselves on a more attainable approach to a healthier lifestyle including Headspace, a new meditation application.

Was this the right move? According to Allen Adamson, branding consultant and Metaforce founder, this rebranding is well-timed. “It’s a smart move,” he said. “Weight Watchers has some baggage—one, it’s an older brand, and it’s your mother’s way to lose weight. Two, it focuses on the negative, which is why nobody wants to be seen carrying a Weight Watchers bag around town.”

Rebranding is always a large and risky move for companies and creating a strong communications strategy is vital to the success of the new brand. The communications team must perfect the messaging for each individual audience to ensure that they won’t lose their following. In addition, with every large change comes a crisis communications plan to ensure that the company is prepared for the worst and can stay ahead of the problem. WW has made their message and reasoning for the rebrand very clear to their audience and to ensure their positive messaging resonates with their target audiences.

That’s all we have for this month’s Proof Strategies Industry trends! Keep an eye out for next month’s updates and visit our blog for more information on the industry.



Sarah Vallarelli

Associate Account Executive
Sarah's creative mind has been the driving force for her love of all things communications. When she is not in the office you can either find her at home binge watching Netflix or out exploring the city while on the hunt for the perfect taco. A New York native, she is a night owl by trade and loves to go back home to see her family, especially her baby niece.



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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