I joined 150 other public relations and marketing firm owners from across the country for the Counselors Academy Spring Conference earlier this month. Among other excellent speakers, we were treated to the insights of Marian Salzman, CEO of Havas PR North America regarding societal trends.
Salzman, known by many for unearthing and promoting the “Metrosexaul” trend a number of years ago, is fast-talking, high energy, and inspiring.
She and her firm unearthed 11 trends for 2016, ranging from several on technology, such as “Mind the App” and “Getting Smart” to the “Ubertrend for 2016: Uneasy Street.”
It’s intriguing, and scary, to think about how much angst there is in the world. The firm describes this as “a sense of unease that things aren’t as they should be, that looming threats are out there, and that people need to make important decisions and do something.”
However, it’s the number three trend that caught my attention: “The Golden Age of B. S.” Havas believes the media’s strong preference for emotional statements and attention getting visuals lends itself to increasing conspiracy theories and panic.
They further explain it this way, “Facts and truth will matter increasingly less in the constant struggle for media attention.”
Maybe this is what is fueling the ubertrend of uneasiness. I know it greatly frightens me. After all, in a time when it’s harder to tell what is real and what is not, thanks to some of the fantastical things on the Internet, wouldn’t we value truth more?
It’s interesting food for thought, and we’ll be looking closer at our world to find trends and opportunities. In the meantime, here’s a link in case you’d like to read the booklet for yourself: 11 Trends for 2016.