Tuesday, December 30, 2008

PR Predictions for 2009

It's the end of the year which means it's time for "best of lists" and predictions.  I'm going to the later route with predictions.

FWIW here are my PR predictions for 2009:
  • Social Media and digital strategies increase in popularity.  Companies, non-profits and organizations begin to realize the true costs (time and labor) to effectively create, maintain and engage with target audiences.
  • PR goes back to its roots in building relationships with the media and with each other. Blind pitching, off-topic pitching, and spamming not only continues to incur journalists' ire, but angers members of the PR profession who are doing it well. PR Pros who can't adapt to new communication paradigms will be the most impacted. 
  • PR spammer wikis continue to grow and awareness of them outside the journalist/PR industry (read: CLIENTS) learn who's perceived to be doing shoddy work.
  • Interactive applications and UX sites are used by more brands to deliver the customer experience to address concerns before a purchase and to reinforce purchase decisions.
  • PR Pros return/reinforce their role as ADVISORS.
  • PR associations and organizations become less influential (but still important) as social media empowers tweetups and entrepreneurs to create their own seminars, conferences and seminars to discuss their interest in the industry.
  • 2009 will be the year of measurement and metrics to effectively document ROI for ANY communication initiatives.
  • More media outlets will fail and close.  Mainstream media (print and broadcast) with some trades will be the hardest hit. Media model will continue to shift.  I predict mobile applications and streaming of breaking news in real-time will become more popular.
  • There is a strong resurgence in the corporate communications position as companies struggle to effectively use social media to communicate with its audiences.  These positions will have less to do with marketing and more to do with PR.  Expect to see more VPs of Communications separate from VPs of Marketing.
  • Almost all major global brands will have Twitter accounts and will use social media and the Internet to conduct open source monitoring of its brands; monitor brand evangelists; survey the competitive landscape; and engage with customers to optimize or in some cases, rebuild customer trust.
  • Customer advisory boards make a return for companies struggling in the slumping economy.  These will be online and in stores.
  • Companies continue to spend less on traditional PR tactics and more on social media and digital strategy.
  • 2009 will be the year of mobile as next generation Google phone and advanced mobile apps are released to further increase communications between organizations/audiences.
  • Trade show budgets continue to shrink and length of shows is cut. Number of media attending is reduced. Companies expected to have something "beyond the press release" for all major announcements.
  • Push/Pull dynamic for media pitching continues. HARO increases in popularity but not all industries/news is sought after as active topics by the media.  PR pros use social media, news wires, videos and interactive strategies to tell client's stories.
  • Changes in government communications and continued government use of Web 2.0 tools will cause companies and certain federal and civilian agencies to play catch up as they stuggle to quickly implement early best practices of these tools.
  • PR will continue to evolve and will finally stop defining itself so narrowly and embrace the new technologies to become the authorities and leaders to promote brand awareness, customer engagement and competitive intelligence to best advise and counsel clients/companies/organizations/non-profits. 
We'll see how close I came at the end of next year.  What are some of your PR predictions for 2009?

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