For years, marketing operated in silos consisting of PR, advertising and creative. Agencies specialized in these services and worked together either when directed or if there was crossover for a deliverable. This era was marked by advertising campaigns centered around the coveted 30-second TV spot, massive print buys and a booming newspaper and magazine industry, where editors and publishers sat at different tables and had separate conversations.

The rise of online communication in the early 2000s and launch of Facebook in 2004 – an incredible 13 years ago – marked the inevitable change for marketing across every industry. Today’s consumers are available to brands 24/7/365; they are absorbing content at an extraordinary pace, through a diverse list of mediums, and brands are just trying to keep up and not get lost in the noise. Integrating marketing campaigns across PR, social, digital and traditional advertising is crucial. A brand’s willingness to be nimble and test new strategies, while remaining true to their desired target audience, will ultimately set the stage for success.

A lot is predicted to change throughout the remainder of 2017, and the trends can be overwhelming to sift through. That’s why you have us! Below is a high-level overview of the state of social media, advertising and PR, to help guide strategic decisions for approaching an integrated marketing campaign, and how best to attribute budgets to deliver real, and measurable, results.

Social Media

  • Ad spending through social platforms (with Facebook leading the way) is expected to surpass $41 billion in 2017, after a 74 percent increase from 2015 to 2016 alone. 1
    • More importantly, 28 percent of consumers said a brand’s social presence was the biggest reason to try new products or services. 2
  • Facebook and Instagram take the first and second spot as the most popular social platform for adults, with nearly 79 percent of online adults using Facebook. 3
  • Instagram, while in second place, is a favorite amongst millennials, as their use by 32 percent of online adults is driven by the 18-29 age group, followed by 30-49. 4


  • Cable is no longer seen as a must-have for households with 41 percent of TV subscribers planning to cut back or end subscriptions. What does this mean for advertisers? With the shift to spending time on social and digital platforms, brands need to adjust their buys accordingly. 5
    • To underscore this, 2017 marks the first time digital advertising will surpass that of TV, and by 2020, some say digital will overtake that of print advertising. 6
  • Due in large part to bot fraud, ad blocking software, and social media advertising, industry leaders are calling for an increase in influencer marketing in 2017 to create original content for brands. 7
  • According to a Business Insider report, “while the largest segment of native ad spending is in social media, the fastest growing segment is native-style display which is expected to grow by more than 200 percent over the next two years.” 8
  • With this shift to digital and social media, and the backend metrics available to marketing execs (for free through Facebook Insights and Google Analytics), there’s a growing expectation that advertising buys must drive measurable results.


  • As seasoned communications experts, brands will look to PR professionals to manage/advise their reputation management – in an effort to streamline messaging and protect their brand. 9
  • As the landscape of the publishing world changes, 2016 saw the closure of MORE and SELF, which followed Fitness, Details and Today, publications are increasingly employing freelancers to write stories, as opposed to staffing in-house editors. 10
    • It can be hard to keep track of all these writers, or even find their contact information. To combat this issue, social media has become a standard tool for PR professionals to build relationships with and contact journalists. 11
  • With the changes in SEO, it’s crucial that PR and SEO teams are aligned on efforts, to ensure high-quality content pushed from a brand is being optimized for search. 12

Confused? Have more questions? Shoot us a note; we’d be happy to talk with you about how BPR can help your business navigate today’s marketing world!


  1. Sprout Social report.
  2. Sprout Social report.
  3. Pew Research Center.
  4. Pew Research Center.
  5. Forbes.
  6. Adweek/MarketingCharts
  7. Adweek.
  8. Business Insider.
  9. PRNews.
  10. Forbes.
  11. Institute for PR.
  12. Forbes.