Tech Trends for 2019 and Beyond

December 3, 2018


I’ve shared my tech views here throughout the year. So for this last column, I reached out to a diverse group of voices for their thoughts about the future of communications.
Here’s what they had to say:

Kerry Sheehan, director of communications, marketing and engagement, Verve Communications:

“2019 will be a big year for artificial intelligence (AI) in public relations with growth in AI assistants, chatbots and voice search. PR pros will need to work with developers and programmers to ensure that their brand/organization’s identity and tone of voice are carried throughout voice search and AI assistants.

Voice search will increase heavily as more people recognize its convenience — PR pros have a big role to play in how to speak in a more conversational tone to their customers and stakeholders. Brands and organizations will need to be savvier on how to be found in voice searches. We can’t find ourselves in a place where AI assistants and chatbots all sound the same.”

Robert Boyle, senior majoring in economics and computer science, Columbia University:

“It seems too early to bet on virtual reality, augmented reality and blockchain in 2019. Social media continues to dominate how we all communicate with each other. I’m betting on Facebook and Instagram to continue to be the primary mediums driving communication. I would devote all of my time to Facebook ads and Instagram Stories ads.”

Roshni Patel, co-founder, HomeVision VR:

“At HomeVision VR, we primarily work with home builders. Historically, the industry as a whole has a hard time adopting new technology. However, we are seeing more of our clients not just interested, but also excited to use various social media platforms and analytics. Touring homes online and in virtual reality with Matterport and 3D renderings is becoming a standard.”

Neil Singh, founder, The Business Geek:

“As immersive technologies such as augmented reality (AR) become more accessible to social content creators via platforms such as Snap, content marketing is set to become a truly engaging experience from 2019 on.

In addition, traditional e-commerce will also evolve to virtual commerce more quickly as the need for content becomes a necessary part of the purchase and consumption experience.

Visual interactive communication will be primary to all marketing activities; the consumer demand or market need will focus on how people experience their goods and services digitally via immersive technology, rather than simply seeing static items on 2D websites.

Brands will see the necessary task of creating interactive products online, and the user experience will be primary to the success and growth of companies.”

Lisa Buyer, president and founder, the Buyer Group, and author, “Social PR Secrets”:

“Personalization meets automation in 2019. Old-school tactics like personalized notes, phone calls and video calls will help stand out in relationship-building with the media and a brand’s audience.

Smart brands will create a frictionless experience for the media and your audience.

Brands embracing immersive storytelling will win. Using 3D, 360 photos and 360 videos will capture attention. The smartphone camera is how we create and deliver the new press release. Whether it’s vertical video, live video, 360 video and  photos, real-time news, lenses, filters or stickers — for best results, think differently and outside the camera roll.”

Cathy Hackl, APR

Cathy Hackl, APR, created the holographic press release and is a leading voice in augmented reality and virtual reality. A futurist and well-known speaker, she is co-author of “Marketing New Realities,” the only book on augmented reality and virtual reality for marketing. Hackl joined Atlanta-based You Are Here Labs in 2018, where she leads agencies, brands and companies in applying futuristic technologies.



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