By Ashley Boyden
PR Director, Cactus
I had to laugh looking back at last year’s predictions. First out of the gate, Laura Love’s read “PR agencies that survive and thrive in 2009 will vehemently disregard the old saying “the more things change, the more they stay the same.”’ She was spot on that change was in store for PR agencies. But I argue that the more things change, the more we, as PR practitioners, should strive to keep them the same.
In many ways, going back to our PR roots as bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, ready-to-conquer-the-world college grads can help us achieve success today.
- While we’ve become adept at fitting a pitch’s top three messages into a 140-character tweet, having a smartly crafted story to back it up is still essential to fighting for headlines, airtime and column inches.
- Building fruitful relationships is just as important as it was on Day One. Beyond peers, clients, partners and media, we now have increased demand to build authentic relationships with citizen journalists. In 2010, mass communication will continue to evolve into more personalized individual conversations that help businesses grow relationships with citizen journalists.
- I graduated from KU’s inaugural strategic communications program with an optimistic view of integrated communications in the real world, to say the least. A decade later, I’m still fighting to blur the lines between advertising, marketing, PR and social media. And, I remain optimistic that in 2010 more businesses will see the value of well-rounded, integrated communications, work toward long-term visions and follow through with strategic plans rather than glob on to the social media trend du jour. A girl can dream right?
- Clipping reports used to be fun – let’s make them meaningful again. Long gone are the days of measuring influence by column inches and ad-space equivalencies. Yet, as executives relinquish more control to social media programs, PR professionals will face increased pressure to demonstrate the ROI of social media efforts through data-driven measurement and analytics.
- Remember when making a difference was more important than collecting a paycheck? In light of hardships witnessed all around us, in 2010 people will do more good. I’ve already seen it. I’m in awe of the generosity of my peers and fellow advertising and PR firms who, even when hit by the recession personally, remain dedicated to doing good for the community. I’m confident and inspired that this trend will grow in the coming year.
By Cindy Parsons
Vice President, Public Relations
Comcast Mile High Region
Public Relations and Marketing will need to continue to define their roles as the lines between social media communication and interactive marketing increasingly blur and it will become increasingly important to use use social media in a manner that’s transparent and humble.
By Larry Holdren
- Companies will increasingly look to hire communications talent that clearly understand how to use the ever-changing array of tools available to communicate with audiences in 2010. More importantly, they will look to hire talent that can combine that knowledge with the ability to think strategically and understand their clients’ or organizations’ businesses.
- Shiny Object Syndrome will continue when it comes to social media, but smart organizations will continue to tie results of their online efforts directly to business objectives.
- Traditional mass media outlets will continue to look and sound more like activist organizations with political agendas, making it more important than ever for organizations to use digital communications and social media tools to tell their own stories.
- Local and national economies will continue to improve and spending on well-thought-out, original communications efforts that take full advantage of both traditional and new tools will increase when compared to 2009.
- All of our professional sports teams will, once again, not win championships, yet an entire section of the Denver Post and nearly 15 minutes of 10 pm newscasts will be dedicated to telling their stories and I will continue to consume that media in its entirety.
- City and state governments will continue their budgetary struggles and will look to any and all methods to increase revenue – meaning I will likely rack up thousands of dollars in parking and speeding tickets and may be looking for rides to and from work.
By Steven Silvers
A key theme in 2010 will be information command and control:
Millions of people will stop using free social media services as they realize that those revenue-hungry companies are giving or selling access to their profiles, posts, pics and friends lists.
Court cases will reaffirm that employee use of social media during working hours is not protected speech, adding to intense monitoring and far more stringent policies by employers.
“Agenda media” will continue to grow as more formerly ad-supported news outlets become funded by interest groups, politically leaning foundations, single corporations and even government.
Public interest and watchdog groups will try to put teeth on the FTC’s new rules requiring full transparency in all marketing, promotion and publicity.