PR and Marketing Trends for 2020: Taking Risks


In the fast-paced world of marketing and PR, companies are always scrambling to be ahead of the trends. As always, storytelling for brands is the focus and we’re seeing a real shift toward daring, honest and people-first (not faceless “consumer”) storytelling approaches. It’s about taking risks to connect to people, as people, in a genuine way. For people to feel an affinity to your brand, they need to think that you genuinely care about what they care about. 


What do we mean by that? Well, customers are becoming increasingly politically conscious and they want to see honesty, transparency, accuracy and true authenticity from the brands they love. People are growing weary of the content they consume if that content doesn’t incorporate these elements. The info brands put out needs to be honest and transparent while accurately representing who they are and how they operate. 


With more “woke” or politically conscious audiences (think Millenials), “Brandstanding” is becoming a successful move wherein companies and brands are willing to take a position on major issues. While the risk here is to polarize audiences via taking a stand on major issues, the effect in fact creates audiences who are more loyal and feel a stronger connection to your company – they appreciate the risk taken to speak up, speak out and act on a pressing issue. Branstanding is a way to show your company has values, ethics and integrity. 


Consider Gilette’s wildly successful and yes polarizing “The Best a Man Can Be” campaign which took a stand on toxic masculinity. The underlying message was to encourage men to hold each other accountable for sexual harassment and bullying and to be a better example for boys. While Gilette lost some customers, it gained far more and it also instigated important social conversations. The risk is worth it. 


When thinking of how to market your company or brand, really take a good look at your demographic, their values, desires and needs. Create content that is truly meaningful to them, thought-provoking and even takes a political stand on any pressing social issue such as bullying, mental health, the environment, racism, sexism – there’s a lot to choose from. In 2020 it’s a wise idea to become a brand people feel proud to align themselves with because your brand aligns with their values.