Wire Winners: 5 Big News Trends From May and June
PR Newswire distributed more than 42,000 press releases in the U.S. and Canada in May and June – so we understand if you had trouble keeping up, even if you’re already registered for PR Newswire for Journalists. To help out, our team monitored the headlines for some of the major industries and made note of any trends they spotted.
Celebrations of Pride Month, summer fun, and the ongoing explosion of AI dominated the wire. But among all the fun, brands also worked to remind customers to stay safe this summer in the wake of severe weather and potentially dangerous roads and holiday celebrations. And across all industries, we saw companies announce new collaborations to promote new products and services and reach new audiences.
Below, we dig into some of the major news trends over the past couple of months.
🏆 Popular Releases
Regardless of larger trends, some releases just draw a huge audience because they are that big or interesting of a story. These were a few of the most-read releases of May and June:
- No FOMO: Samuel Adams gave everyone an excuse to bail on plans this summer and debuted the limited edition “I CAN’t” Can. “Summer should be the season of fun, not obligations,” said Lauren Price, Head of Brand, Samuel Adams.
- Gaming Mania: Sony announced its partnership with SQUARE ENIX for the June 22 launch of FINAL FANTASY XVI and said its BRAVIA XR TV is the ideal way to play.
- CEO Statement: After the World Health Organization issued new guidance on the use of non-sugar sweeteners, the CEO of Splenda responded, saying, “Suggesting that sweeteners like Splenda cannot have long-term benefits is a disservice to healthcare providers, their patients, and all consumers.”
- Nostalgia Wins: McDonald’s celebrated lovable icon Grimace’s birthday with a special meal that included a purple milkshake, a video game, and Grimace-inspired merch.
- Cream of the Crop: Fortune announced the 69th Fortune 500 ranking, its annual list of the largest corporations in the United States. In 2023, for the first time in its 69-year history, over 10% of the companies on the list have female CEOs.
Below, we dig deeper into the larger trends spotted on the wire.
🏳️🌈 Pride on the Wire
Recent backlash towards Pride campaigns from brands including Bud Light and Target made this year’s Pride Month celebrations a bit uncertain – would brands still announce their support and initiatives like normal? Would they risk negative media attention and backlash from activists or double down on their Pride efforts?
Despite the initial uncertainty, Cision found that social mentions of “pride” and “LGBT+” during the last week of May into the first week of June 2023 showed a 211% surge in volume and had an overall positive sentiment.
We saw that commitment to Pride reflected on the wire. Throughout June, PR Newswire distributed nearly 150 releases related to the LGBTQ+ community. This was a slight dip from the volume we saw in 2022, but level with the number of LGBTQ+ releases hitting the wire in 2021 and a 114% increase from June 2020.
Here are a few that stood out:
- Skittles® Artist Designed 2023 Pride Packs Shine a Light on LGBTQ+ Stories
- MGM Resorts Donates $25,000 to Support LGBTQ+ Entrepreneurship
- NYX Professional Makeup Aims to Target Anti-Bullying with New ‘Game Out Loud’ Pride Campaign
- It Gets Better Announces $625,000 in Grants to U.S. and Canada Schools for Projects to Support LGBTQ+ Identity
- Mindpath Health releases 10 Tips to Become an Active Ally for the LGBTQIA+ Community
Find more: Our latest People & Culture news trends roundup features even more stand-out Pride Month content that you might have missed.
☀️ All Things Summer
As the summer heated up (literally), so did the number of releases related to all the seasonal mainstays, from travel to food and beverage and beyond.
From food trade shows to summer product launches and promotions, food and beverage releases were a big hit with readers throughout May and June. Brands debuted new and unique products at events like the Sweets & Snacks Expo and Summer Fancy Food Show. They also offered consumers ways to beat the heat with cool drinks and icy desserts. And as the Fourth of July approached, releases with a focus on grilling lit up the wire.
Here are a few releases you might have missed:
- BRIANNAS Introduces New Line of Marinades Just in Time for Summer Grilling
- Abstinence Spirits USA Announces the Debut of New Ready-to-Drink Alcohol-Free Spritz at the 2023 Summer Fancy Food Show
- Summer Menu Alert: Wendy’s Summer Strawberry Salad is Back!
- Cold Stone Creamery Celebrates Summer with the Best of Batter and Dough Flavors
Find more: Read the latest roundup of food news trends, which covers these summer food trends in depth.
Summer travel news was in full force on the wire in recent weeks. Whether it’s to head out camping, book beach vacations, or map out road trips, Americans are ready to pack their bags. A June survey from travel insurance company Allianz found that 74% of Americans say an annual summer vacation is important, up 14 points since 2019. Among the wave of summer travel releases:
- Cambria Hotels brings back its summer “Taste of the Destination” culinary program featuring boozy ice cream flights from Tipsy Scoop
- Major Yosemite Entrance Reopens June 10th: Locals Share Best Trip Tips
- Recent Study Shows Families Expect to Take More Summer Vacations This Year Than Last
- Play Celebrity for a Day at SeaWorld this Summer with the “Ultimate VIP Tour”
Find more: The May/June travel news roundup has a look at summer travel, from sunny getaways to mountain retreats and more.
Throughout May and June, brands shared press releases full of tips to help their customers stay safe. Threats from severe weather, unruly fireworks, unsafe drivers, and even swimming pools led companies across a variety of industries to issue the latest updates.
Over the two-month period, PR Newswire distributed nearly 450 press releases focused on public safety. Here are just a few of them:
- Wildfire smoke and your breathing – 3M scientists offer resources and tips to protect yourself in unhealthy air
- American Red Cross Expands Campaign to Reduce Childhood Drowning
- American Pyrotechnics Association Urges Fireworks Safety This Independence Day
- Mosquito Joe® Shares Vital Tips to Safeguard Against Mosquitoes as Malaria Cases Resurface in U.S.
- PG&E Offers Safety Tips for July 4 Holiday and Summer Heat Wave
🤖 AI Takeover
When we reviewed news trends for the March/April period, the explosion of AI was among them – and that hasn’t changed. In fact, even more AI-related news announcements crossed the wire in recent months. Throughout May and June, PR Newswire distributed more than 2,200 releases mentioning “artificial intelligence” and/or “ChatGPT,” compared to about 1,700 in March and April.
As ChatGPT creator OpenAI faces lawsuits from actors, writers, and others, it only makes the future of this fast-growing tech more uncertain. But in the meantime, companies across industries continue to incorporate AI into their products and services to boost efficiencies, better serve customers, and more.
Here are a few releases you might have missed:
- Booking.com Launches New AI Trip Planner to Enhance Travel Planning Experience
- PepsiCo collaborates with Stanford Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence to shape responsible AI standards
- Aigen Unveils the World’s First AI-Driven, Solar-Powered, Agricultural Robotics Service
- Cynerio Harnesses the Power of Generative AI to Revolutionize Healthcare Cybersecurity
Find more: Read about even more AI-related announcements in the recap of tech news trends for May and June.
🤝 Brand Collaborations
Brand collaborations — brand-to-brand, brand-to-celebrity, etc. — were everywhere on the wire in recent months. Whether it was in relation to Pride Month, summer movies (hello, Barbie and TNMT), the anniversary of hip hop, or seasonal promotions, the pair-ups ran the gamut.
Why are these partnerships so popular? “It’s a credible way for brands to grow their awareness and exposure, which can lead to increased sales too. This makes them something of a no-brainer,” Claudine Harris, CEO of brand matchmaking company Miai, told CEO Magazine.
And the trend doesn’t appear to be going away anytime soon. In May and June, PR Newswire sent out more than 2,800 releases related to marketing/licensing agreements. This is a 17% increase from the same period in 2022. Here are some of the most unique collaborations we spotted in recent weeks:
- Hennessy and Nas Join Forces for Spectacular 50th Anniversary Celebration, Featuring Limited Edition Bottle and Global Experiences
- Cold Stone Creamery Sparkles this Summer with BARBIE Movie-Themed Creation and Cake
- Taco Bell and Crocs Partner for Limited Edition Collab
- Going Green: Wheels Up and Hertz Partner to Offer New Electric Vehicle Options
- Nature Made® Wellblends™ Announces Unique New Partnership with The Home Edit
More News Trends
Want to dive deeper into the news trends for the industry you cover? Our team has compiled the trends and top releases across 15 industries for May and June. Find them all on PR Newswire’s Resource Center.
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Rocky Parker is the Manager of Audience and Journalist Engagement at Cision PR Newswire. She's been with the company since 2010 and has worked with journalists and bloggers as well as PR and comms professionals. Outside of work, she can be found trying a new recipe, binging a new show, or cuddling with her pitbull, Hudson.