What we learned at PRSA’s 16th annual Media Predicts


As PR professionals, we’re highly invested in keeping up with the ever-changing media landscape and the role we play in it. We attended PRSA Silicon Valley’s 16th annual Media Predicts to connect with technology journalists, colleagues, and industry friends. During the event, we reflected on industry trends from this past year and discussed what’s in store for 2024. 

So, what’s on the horizon? Much of the focus was on the explosion of artificial intelligence (AI), concerns around the upcoming presidential election, technology layoffs, workforce trends, and the social media craze.

The reporters who participated included Eric Savitz, associate editor for technology at Barron’s; Shawn Chitnis, multi-skilled reporter at CBS Bay Area; Connie Guglielmo, SVP of AI editorial strategy and editor-at-large at CNET; and Kali Hays, tech correspondent at Business Insider. 

Our team was thrilled for the opportunity to ask them about their editorial focuses for 2024, industry and societal trends, and how best to work with them.

Here’s what we learned: 

AI is everywhere

This one shouldn’t come as a surprise: AI is everything, and it always will be from here on out. Accordingly, every company is going to need an AI strategy. The reporters also let us know that generative AI will be seen in the future as a “general purpose technology” because it’s so revolutionary. Previous examples of general purpose technologies include the mobile phone, the internet, and airplanes. Yep; AI is that much of a game-changer. 

Money makes the world go ‘round

We’re all familiar with the phrase “money talks.” It’s true: money is how the world keeps score, and it’s a crucial angle of any compelling news story. Reporters let us know that the bottom line of the story must always be about the bottom line, so whenever possible and appropriate, be sure to include financial stats to show the growth of the business, how the industry (and technology) is tied to positive (or negative) business outcomes, what this means for the total addressable market (TAM), and more.

Speed is the name of the game

The sheer speed at which the 24/7 news cycle moves means that credible sources have become more critical than ever. This, coupled with the fact that journalists are under increasing pressure to deliver more with less time and resources, means PR people need to build trust and credibility with reporters upfront. They can do so by always providing citations for their sources so that journalists can work quickly to push news.

Pre-election disinformation worries

Disinformation on social media is top of mind for journalists as we approach an election year. Almost one-third of young adults get their news from social media platforms like TikTok and Instagram. While social media can be dangerous in enabling the spread of disinformation, it’s also a powerful tool for spreading legitimate information as well. Case in point: many of us watched Sam Altman’s firing and rehiring from OpenAI unfold in real time on Twitter. When it comes to social media, credibility is everything. 

There’s no telling exactly how 2024 will unfold, but the themes above will undoubtedly be key areas of focus. And as PR pros, you can bet that we’ll be ready to chime in with thoughtful insights from our clients to support journalists’ stories.