Next Stop, 2026: 10 Communications Trends for the Next 10 years


By: Erik Smith, Allison Fastow and David Di Martino

This year marks 10 years for our firm, Blue Engine Message & Media. And as we celebrate this milestone and remember the moments, clients and staff that helped us get here, we are also looking ahead to what the next 10 years has in store for us as communicators and for our clients.

We are standing at a transformative moment in communications. As we see technological advancements continue to explode year-over-year, changing people’s habits for how they consume news and information, we must anticipate a decade of exponential developments that will both challenge and enhance our ability to help our clients effectively communicate their messages to target audiences.

How we help our clients tell their stories in 2026 will no doubt be different from today – likely just as different as our work today compared to when we first opened our doors a decade ago. In 2006, the iPhone hadn’t been invented, Twitter was only a few months old, there was no Snapchat and only slightly more than a quarter of Americans said they went online every day for news. The rise of online news, the dominance of video, necessity of mobile, and the digital revolution all took place since our firm’s founding. A lot can change in 10 years.

As we try to anticipate the coming trends that will transform our industry at large in the coming decade, it is hard to ignore the growing need or desire to more closely align communications channels with people’s everyday lives. Information is increasingly streamlined. Speed is paramount. Influence is decentralized. Digestion is practically automatic.

What follows below represents just some of our thoughts about the trends in communications that we see taking root, or taking off, in the next 10 years. So, without further ado, next stop: 2026.

10. Voice activation

9. Trust endangered 

8. Are we at the end of the press release era? 

7. Customized curated news 

6. The future (of broadcasting and publishing) is in Our control

5. How do you pitch a machine?

4. Easier access to data

3. Speaking your mind is ok, and encouraged

2. The end of the gatekeeper

1. Virtual reality