Editor’s note: This is the first in a series of 12 guest posts from industry executives predicting key trends that will impact the public relations industry in 2012. Hosted under the hashtag #PRin2012, the series began Dec. 19, 2011, with a compilation post previewing all 12 predictions.
We’re living in a world where consumers and decision makers are more social than ever before.
A recent report from Global Web Index found that B-to-B decision makers are more socially engaged when compared to the average internet user. The study found that 60 percent of B-to-B business leaders have used a social network (compared to 50 percent for the average Internet user).
With the rapid growth in usage of digital tools in 2011, we’ve seen more brands start to get their footing in the social media space. But if 2011 was the year of brands getting their owned-media properties in order, 2012 will be the year of PR professionals empowering business leaders and experts to get involved.
We’re witnessing an evolution in the digital space where it’s no longer enough to just carve out a spot on the social Web. If a brand truly wants to “influence the influencers,” engagement is critical.
As we look to the year ahead, it’s important for communicators to understand the methodology and value in this and be prepared to work with business leaders, decision makers and subject experts to get them up to speed and involved on digital platforms if they aren’t already. As the social business continues to evolve, all employees within an organization should be empowered to build up their digital skill sets and, as the individuals on the front lines of the digital space, communications will be the function leading this evolution.