Happy new year! 2012 should be a very exciting year especially in the media and communications space.
It’s the beginning of a new year, so it’s always a good time to reflect on the old and ponder on the new. These are my thoughts on PR trends for 2012. Feel free to add to them or leave comments.
- People-to-people PR:
When you think about it, PR should be about communicating a particular message to other people. People want to do business with people, so at the end of the day the PR’s role should be for a particular campaign or article to resonate with other people. This sounds simple enough, however, many corporates expect PR companies to only promote their strengths, their brilliant products or services. (That’s what I call brand-to-people PR)
PRs should ask questions such as “What will make readers relate to an article?”, “Will they identify with a similar problem?” i.e. make it personal, make it relevant. Very often, make it controversial. (As long as you can justify what is said)
Our communication channels may have changed with the inclusion of social media, but the reality is, we still need to understand what makes people tick. (and respond)
- Social media
I know I am stating the obvious, but social media is definitely worth mentioning. More companies will realise the benefits of including social media in their communication plans. Social media should complement your PR strategy, and the channels you choose should make sense to your target audience. Facebook is not relevant for all businesses, but could work incredibly well for retail stores or other consumer related brands. It also depends on the result you want to achieve.
PR companies will need to ready themselves for social media consulting and implementation. It’s a powerful new communication channel and it won’t be going away any time soon. Digital communication is here to stay!
- Quality content
Most people will agree that we are inundated with too much information. It is becoming impossible to read every article of interest. I have recently undergone a simple exercise of unsubscribing to many e-newsletters that have ended up cluttering my inbox. Instead I have chosen to rather follow certain news sites via Twitter and Google Reader.
Successful PR campaigns will now, more than ever, rely on quality content: Stories that grab the reader’s attention, well written motivations to journalists, interesting posts on blogs, Tweets worth re-tweeting.
Quality content will still remain the golden rule when it comes to effective PR.
- Creativity and lateral thinking
PR in 2012 should be renamed creative communications. Gone are the days when PR agents simply issued a press release and sat back waiting for their client’s media coverage to appear. PRs really have to work hard to get good media coverage, and that won’t change in 2012.
As PR practitioners we now have so many ways to communicate our client’s messages. The trick is to know how to use these new channels effectively and creatively.