Matters that Matter in 2024

We recently held our first event of the year – Matters that Matter in 2024 – were we discussed the 5 key trends that will be shaping the future of the rest of the year and beyond.   

Our stellar line-up of panellists – Harry Wallop, Lucy Siegle, James Poulter, Jono Yates and Polly Curtis –addressed the seismic shifts that are expected to shape the years, if not decades, ahead. But we are confident that change brings not only challenges but also opportunities. So we have built a list of five key trends that will be crucial for communicators across the board.   

The electorate seeks change: In a UK General Election year, the prevailing cost of living crisis and day-to-day lived experiences means that many in the UK believe that change is paramount: the country must work better for everyone. The opinion polls are clear in terms of who will win, but external factors and unexpected events may shift momentum as we get to polling day. Globally, the growing use of AI and the shifting nature of consumer media habits will shape elections and misinformation will be significant, with selective digital content driving partial understanding of the real issues.   

Invest in infrastructure to supercharge net zero: Views on sustainability have never been more polarised – with some end users stating that green credentials are a key driver of purchasing behaviours, while others claim Net Zero ambitions are a waste of time, energy and resources. If we are to make tangible progress on tackling climate change head on – through investment in critical infrastructure, for example – we need to reach audiences on their home turf, effectively communicating the risks of inaction when it comes to climate change, but the opportunities transformations can unlock in real terms. Otherwise we risk an unbridgeable divide between those who know, and those who don’t – an end to the ‘sustainability come back’.  

Build AI education and guidance to reduce uncertainty: Although it seems like AI is now permeating every aspect of our daily lives, companies are still severely lacking guidance on what is acceptable and how they should navigate these uncharted waters. Companies need to take an active choice and responsibility to own their data, understand AI tools and build guidance for their employees. Given that the current versions of AI are going to be the least developed going forward, and we are yet to see regulation in this sphere, the earlier companies take action, the easier it will be for them to adapt.  

Reading into your audience is more important than ever: The media ecosystem is constantly transforming and becoming increasingly fragmented and polarised, which makes it harder for brands to appeal to a wider audience. But those that do a better job at spotting trends in their audiences’ habits and what they truly care about will be able to generate cut through. A tip for 2024 is that large scale events such as the Olympic Games or Euro 2024, will present a great opportunity to tap into people’s wishes to come together and celebrate each other.  

Genuine campaigns will help to stand out in the cacophony of voices: Consumers today have become experts in detecting inauthentic campaigns, which puts honesty and transparency at the top of the agenda in every communications effort. Whether harnessing the power of owned media or collaborating with influencers, communicators need to focus on what makes sense for their brand to speak about.   

Grayling is to publish its own Creating Advantage 2024 report in the coming weeks. The report will dive deeper into the trends that will matter most this year and provide topics and issues that will need to be acted upon as soon as possible. In the meantime, watch the highlights from our event here.

As always, we are keen to discuss the issues that present the most challenges and opportunities to you and your reputation. So please do get in touch with us at