As another New Year begins, it’s time to consider how PR will change in 2012.
PR is one of the fastest-paced – and fastest changing – industries in the world. The evolving role of the Internet, social networks and new technology affects how people digest news. PR professionals need to respond to this change to ensure clients’ messages reach their intended audience.
So what will happen next year? Here are our predictions:
Content: As the saying goes, ‘Content is King’. This will remain true in 2012. Brands, PRs and journalists alike will strive to source or create unique and compelling content that can be shared, ‘liked’, or re-tweeted via social networks.
Exclusives: Given that breaking news is posted instantaneously online, we expect an increased demand for ‘exclusives’ from print publications. Holding a story until the morning is becoming ever-more important for newspapers.
Print won’t die: There has been much speculation about ‘the death of the newspaper’. This won’t happen in 2012, if ever. People love flicking through a newspaper on a Sunday; the experience cannot be replicated online.
Online content may come at a cost: The Wall Street Journal and The Times are trialling ‘paid-for’ only access to their online content. Given the current dependency on advertising and the looming double-dip recession, we may see Canadian newspapers follow suit to increase their cash flow.
Consumer power: Consumers now have a platform to quickly and collectively lobby companies via social networks; expect to see them capitalize on this opportunity with increasing frequency.
Crises: With the increasing speed of information dissemination, the number and pace of crises will intensify. Companies that do not respond immediately will be criticized.
ROI: The need to demonstrate ROI will increase with the uncertainty of the economy; budgets will tighten and C-suite executives will want clear evidence of ROI before investing further in PR. New tools for measurement may be developed as a consequence.
Pitching: Expect to pitch to journalists more regularly via Twitter and Google Plus; it’s an easy way to get journalists’ attention.
Gadgets: Tablets, particularly the iPad, are changing the way people read news. More magazines will develop apps where readers can interact with the content (e.g. clicking on a revolving image to get a 360 degree perspective).
Government regulations: Expect greater transparency in lobbying activity, particularly in British Columbia. This follows a public education campaign by the Office of the Registrar of Lobbyists raising awareness of the hefty fines lobbyists face for not registering their undertakings.
Do you have other predictions to add?