By Jeff Cohn,
CEO and Chief Brand Strategist
Like any business owner, my hopes and dreams for 2010 include a much improved economic landscape in 2010 for us all. As I’ve thought about what this year may bring, I predict PR, traditional, online, social media, will be a leading initiative for companies in 2010. As companies reengage and begin to think about activating their marketing efforts, perhaps some that have been on the shelf for months, PR represents a solid way to reemerge into the marketplace.
Why? Consider these thoughts:
PR Offers Significant ROI – In 2010, PR programs will continue to generate returns well beyond the cost of the campaigns themselves and beyond other marketing strategies. Companies who have traditionally focused their attention on traditional advertising campaigns are already beginning to see that they can expand the reach of their marketing programs through PR strategies and are reallocating budgets accordingly. We all know we won’t be seeing Pepsi advertise at this year’s Super Bowl, right? I think we’ll see more of this in 2010 with companies shifting to integrated online and PR efforts.
PR is Driving the “Listening Initiative” – Gaining customer insights by listening to online and offline conversations is becoming critical to the success of a brand and provides tremendous value from a product development and customer service perspective. In 2010, PR will continue to drive this “listening initiative” through the monitoring of social media, blogs and traditional news outlets. The information gathered will be critical to developing marketing campaigns that are relevant and impactful and that generate results.
PR Provides Customer Engagement Opportunities – Brands that are focused on engagement with target audiences will be successful in generating new customers as well as keeping the old. Online PR provides tremendous opportunities to engage with customers and develop relationships with those customers. We started to see some of this in late 2009 (i.e. the fantastic Colorado Tourism Office’s Snow at First Sight Campaign and I believe there will be more of this to come.
As an integrated brand marketing and PR company, I remain excited and bullish on PR as a key strategy in building the brand, one that I think will see real growth after the first quarter of 2010 and into 2011. And that bodes well for all of us in this field.