Shawn Warmstein|Jan 5, 2017

Across the blogosphere, cable news, talk radio and Twitterverse every day “hot takes” are handed out like hot cakes. In the PR industry, we understand that while keeping our finger on the pulse is important, its equally valuable to understand the difference between what can be a new path to explore for our clients or journey into the abyss.

Looking ahead into 2017, this is often a time to look back on hot topics from the last year and prognosticate what it will mean for the industry in the 12 months ahead. For entertainment and sports PR pros, the three following storylines are certainly ones to follow, with a “hot take” added-in to jumpstart the debate:

1. Twitter – Will it stay or will it go?

With the shutter of Vine and public layoff of employees, many predicted a slow demise for this once trendsetting social media platform. Used as an engagement tool during live events, Twitter has been a channel of choice for entertainment and sports communicators.

Hot Take: Back from the grave. Real-time reporting and live events will continue to buoy Twitter, and who knows, if nobody takes away our President Elect’s phone we just might end up reading the State of the Union from his Twitter account. #JokingMaybeNotJoking.

2. Are we soon to be living in a virtual world?

As tech companies continue to improve the experience and decrease costs of virtual reality (VR), it seems in most client meetings this is a tool on the tip of everyone’s tongue. Looking for new ways to make everything experiential and accessible at anytime and anywhere, its seems VR is poised for a big 2017.

Hot Take: Not so fast. Remember the 3-D phenomenon? For a moment, it seemed as if every studio was figuring out how to shoot movies in this format for what would be a dramatic change in the way people watched moving pictures. While VR has far more applications and I expect the medium to have great staying power, this seems like a technology primed to have specific uses vs. widespread adoption.

3. Eliminating the middle man

News media have always been the guardians of truth. But as technology continues to evolve and the demand for information remains now, now, now (not to mention questions of reporting bias), the public has an ever-increasing appetite for news straight from the source. That is why platforms such as Facebook Live, Snapchat and Instagram Stories will be integral to entertainment and sports PR pros this upcoming year.

Hot Take: Here to stay. I believe that the story in 2017 won’t be about how these storytelling platforms have emerged as threats to traditional channels, but how “traditional” media have adapted and embraced these platforms.


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