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The communications industry is evolving rapidly here in the United States and across the globe. As the ways that we interact with one another change, communications professionals must adapt to reach audiences. The pace at which these shifts are occurring has picked up speed in the past decade as well. Recognizing the need to identify these challenges and the top trends, Cision and PR Week released their 2017 Global Communications Report. The study highlights a few obstacles for communicators and shows that certain communications channels, notably social media, continue to become more entrenched. Here’s our take on four of the top issues addressed in the report:

Of the 433 million Linkedin users, many view the business-oriented social media site as solely a means to finding a new job and to growing personal business networks. However, LinkedIn has many more exciting features, including company pages. LinkedIn company pages are a highly effective tool for companies looking to gain new business leads and build a positive online reputation.

Facebook has turned into an online marvel that has increasingly shaped the way we spend our time online. What started as a way for people to connect with friends has turned into a one stop shop for virtually everything. From news to events to marketplaces to buy and sell items, Facebook has become the go-to site for consumers. As a business, what are some useful Facebook tools that can help you connect with your audience?

Some things are just better in motion. Aside from the traditional graphic or video, animated GIFs are a fun alternative to capture your audience and keep them engaged. GIFs are a major trend in digital marketing and are currently shared even more than JPEG and PNG formats. The fact that people only remember 20 percent of the text they read without visuals is one reason that GIFS have become so popular. They convey emotion and information in a quick and entertaining way that many other mediums can’t match.

Pokemon Go uses augmented reality to “catch” Pokemon in real-world places.

This week has been exciting in that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced at the F8 developer conference that we will see more platforms and apps using augmented reality, especially on Facebook and Instagram. This is a further testament to how marketing is moving into the digital landscape and isn’t looking back.

Imagery – graphics, photos, GIFs, and more – are no longer an option in social media posts. They are central to creating great content that your audience will engage with. In fact, if an image is paired with relevant information, people will retain that information 65% better than information presented as plain text.

Yet, many marketers spend a large budget and an even larger amount of time creating images only to find that they receive little to no engagement on Facebook. When you’re creating one-of-a-kind images for your brand, it’s important to consider the following tips:

It’s only February and 2017 has already been a wild year for marketing professionals! From fake news to ongoing disruptions in how people consume information, the communications landscape remains challenging. Despite the many hurdles, opportunities abound and there are exciting new ways to reach your target audience in an engaging manner. But, what really works and how do you manage it?