by Bridget Kochersperger, PR Manager
In early January, I had the opportunity to attend a Cincinnati PRSA members-only event, where a small group sat down with National PRSA CEO Joseph Truncale, Ph.D., CAE, and Chair Mark McClennan, APR, to talk about the PR Industry in 2016 and beyond.
While Truncale and McClennan each shared some terrific insights, the takeaways all pointed to one thing: the public relations industry is at an inflection point. Major growth and change are coming and, as PR pros, we need to be ready for it. Here are a few predictions for the coming year:
Change will be a constant,, specifically regarding the platforms on which we’re communicating. Snapchat may be the belle of the ball today, but by the end of 2016, we’ll likely be learning an entirely new group of platforms. Mark’s advice: don’t get too attached, and don’t put all of your strategy eggs in one platform basket. Go with the flow and be open to new ideas.
News cycles will compress even further. In the last few years, we’ve seen a 24-hour news cycle compress into a 24-second news cycle with the rise of platforms like Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat. Expectations for in-the-moment reporting and commentary will increase and, as PR practitioners, we have to be prepared to adjust and to keep up.
ICYMI is the new word for 2016 – even CNN is using it! According to Mark, messages with ICYMI in the subject line are getting double the open rate, because when news happens in an instant, FOMO takes over. For PR pros, this means an opportunity to make sure the content we create isn’t lost after one use.
2016 will be the year of measurement and analytics. It’s time for PR pros to change the way we look at measurement, and work to align our goals and measurement tactics to the business goals.
There will be 5000+ social media crises in 2016… but only 200 of them will be real. What Mark means is, just because a brand has a social media firestorm, doesn’t mean it will necessarily affect the bottom line—sales. So, keep calm and Twitter on.
The quest for experiential will reach new heights. If you haven’t heard about Augmented Reality, you will soon – particularly because Mark says, “the future is wearable.” Google glass, Oculus Rift, and HoloVisor are only just beginning to make an impact in the market. From Mark’s point of view, these wearables are going to be as transformative as HDTV. Remember the first time you watched live sports on HD, and then you went home to your non-HDTV and cried? We do.
Content will still be king, and it’s up to us to make quality content choices. If we’re creating filler content, or what Mark refers to as, “Cool Whip on a cracker,” we’re not adding value to that brand. So, we need to create each piece of content as if it’s our first – and our last. In other words, think filet mignon.
Do you agree with what the leaders at PRSA have to say? What are your predictions? Let us know in the comments below.