With 2014 quickly rolling to a close, it’s about that time for everyone and their mother to bust out their crystal ball and make industry predictions for the coming year.
Not one to buck the trend, we’re (#obviously) going to offer up our own take on what’s coming down the pipeline. However, much of the surmising we’re about to embark on stems from things we’ve been reading, content we’ve been writing, and conversations we’ve been having over the past 12 months.
Many of these PRedictions have already begun to take root, which is great news for all of us. What jazzes us most is seeing these defining forces grow, blossom, and most importantly, spread so be sure to pass along the knowledge.
Without further ado, we bring you our 5 PR prognostications for 2015:
1. PESO model becomes the norm, not the exception
Gone are the days when a hit in the newspaper was enough to satisfy clients and drive real business results. With more digital tools than ever at our fingertips, fully integrated programs are now going to be more than expected, they will be demanded.
When PR gets stuck in “media relations only” mode, so many important opportunities get missed. When all the media forces combine —paid, earned, shared, and owned—what starts as one story can inevitably become a compelling campaign that reaches customers in a meaningful and targeted way.
2. PRTech cements its status as the next frontier in digital marketing
The PRTech ecosystem is just beginning to reveal itself, but there is no doubt that the individuals and company that make up this space are the one fueling the evolution of the PR industry.
As PR makes a move to embrace a more programmatic, data-focused approach to optimization and outcomes, it has become imperative for professionals to understand the players in the space and the conversations taking place. PRTech will lead this charge and provide the industry with a much-needed roadmap to understanding all the changes taking place.
3. Marketing and PR become BFFs
How PR works in tandem with all other departments (marketing, advertising, etc.) will define success across the board moving forward. The lines are blurring between social, content, media buying, and analytics, so it is imperative that PR reach out to its business counterparts to align all efforts while streamlining work.
PR will continue to push out stories and messaging that positions their companies in a positive light, but more than that, PR now has the opportunity to directly inform marketing and advertising in terms of what customers are saying, doing, and thinking about products, services, and beyond.
4. Social business increases its emphasis on people and relationships
The challenges and opportunities of social media’s evolution within organizations will continue to evolve, but in 2015 we will see brands value the cultivation of relationships over the perceived volume of their social “megaphone”.
While creating a social strategy to align with business objectives is important, what’s more important is to remember that people are at the center of the data available on social. Though social business offers a vast array of tech to tap for customer insights and feedback, it’s still about relationships at the end of the day. And let’s face it; relationships are what PR does best.
5. Value driven metrics take a firmer hold
FINALLY the PR industry will let go of metrics that don’t measure up (i.e. AVEs) in lieu of concrete data that truly proves ROI. Analytics will be embraced as the missing link that provides insights into what’s working, how to test, and where to optimize in future campaigns and content.
A widespread embrace of PR measurement will help show the entire business community PR is an investment, and not an expense. In other words: PR will shift from a cost center to a profit center.
All in all, the future of PR has never looked brighter however it still of the utmost importance that we all continue to demand excellence while embracing these shifts. The heart of PR is people, so let’s make the coming year the most forward-thinking, data-driven, creative-minded year yet.
Here’s to a PRosperous 2015!