By Nicole Alley
Allstate Insurance Company
After such a wild year in 2009, which included the election of a new president, the economy hitting rock bottom and experimental weather balloon hoaxes, I predict that things will calm down and get back to basics in 2010 but it will still be a bumpy ride. While we continue to see signs of recovery, corporations, small businesses and consumers will proceed with cautious optimism. Transparency will be king and corporations with a strong social responsibility platform will thrive. New media will continue to transform the way we do business. Not only will corporations embrace social media into their strategies, but social media positions will crop up en masse.
By Drew Kramer
Director of Strategic Communications
InterMountain Corporate Affairs
Sorry, creationist crowd, but the last two years provided ample evidence that Darwinism is alive and well in the PR market – natural selection weeded out those who couldn’t compete and strengthened for the long run those who adapted and made it through the Ice Age. What will 2010 offer beyond more evolution? Here are my barely-educated guesses:
First, the latest in gadgetry and new media applications – e.g., using the cell phone implanted in your keychain to post a tweet that promotes the podcast you just recorded on your waffle iron and linked to from the blog on your Facebook page – will only get sillier before it reaches its full strategic potential. The marketplace of companies that invent this stuff will begin to settle much as the dot.com industry did so many years ago, with a wave of mergers and acquisitions and, yes, more culling of the weak to protect the overall health of the herd. PR practitioners will have to: (a) stay on top of this constantly changing landscape; (b) not over-commit to any one particular tool – you’d hate to put all your faith in the rock as your primary pounding implement just as others are discovering the hammer; and (c) have as their foundation a smart and viable communications philosophy that can endure and drive the program regardless of the tactics and technologies at their disposal.
Second, even as the available wizardry evolves many organizations will rediscover some of the more quaint (but effective) methods of communicating. Particularly in a retail public relations and public affairs market like Colorado, we will see a renewed emphasis on bypassing both old and new media channels and speaking directly to audiences through more “old school” tactics such as public meetings (the original social media), neighborhood and small group forums, presentations to the Elks Lodge and even one-on-one dialogues with critical stakeholders. In theory anyway, you never control the message as well as when you’re delivering it live and unfiltered out of your very own mouth.
Third, crisis management will be the next area of focus as the PR industry continues its life-long struggle with how to calculate the ROI of good communications. As credibility and reputations get destroyed with a few keystrokes in this hypersensitive media environment, those visionaries capable of thinking and looking beyond the next news cycle will figure out how best to measure the value of crisis avoidance – counting the ships that missed the rocks thanks to the lighthouse instead of counting the ones that ran aground.
Finally, I predict – as I have every year since 1967 – a World Series title for the Boston Red Sox. (Hey, I’ve been right twice…)
By Daniel Brogan
Editor & Publisher
Let’s be honest: New Year’s predictions tend toward wishful thinking. So while I’m as tempted as the next guy to forecast an improved economy and rejuvenated marketing budgets (or at least come up with something funny), I’ll instead go with something I can say with far more certainty: For better or worse, 2010 will be the year that magazines seal their fate.
The year ahead is likely to see a variety of shiny new gadgets, all promising to provide new publishing platforms that are well suited to what magazines do best. The question is what we’ll do with them.
If we follow the example set in the last decade by newspapers, blindly following every trend that came down the digital pike (Free content! Podcasts! Blogs! Citizen journalism! Facebook! Twitter!) without giving any real thought to sustainable business models, we will surely slide into irrelevance, just as they have.
On the other hand, if we give careful attention to re-inventing ourselves in ways that truly serve readers and advertisers alike – you may have already seen this example, but a far more thoughtful exploration is here – we stand a real chance of thriving in this new decade.
By Eric Anderson
Top 10 PR predictions for 2010
10. CBS4 Assignment Editor Misty Montano’s Twitter followers exceed total CBS4 viewership.
9. Denver TV news station hires first anchor who hasn’t actually finished high school yet.
8. Colorado public official sends minute-by-minute tweets revealing content of closed-door executive session.
7. Westword becomes insert placed inside weekly 60-page medical marijuana advertising circular.
6. Inspired by Mad Men, communications professionals try drinking at lunch only to discover that when they sleep at their desk they drool on important papers.
5. New LinkedIn app lets bosses monitor satisfaction of employees based on how often they update their profiles or trade recommendations. (More updates/recommendations=employee is desperate to escape.)
4. Breakthrough electronic format allows men to comfortably read online news in the bathroom. Paper newspapers begin final death spiral. Women report not seeing husbands for days at a time.
3. Peter Boyles loses last shred of credibility. (Oh, wait, that already happened.)
2. Pulitzer committee admits error, retroactively gives Public Service award to Glendale Cherry Creek Chronicle for two-part investigative series on cougar bars.
1. Jeremy Story figures out why Penny Parker keeps ignoring his pitches.