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.