This week we decided to take a stroll down memory lane as we look back at some of our favorite Friday Fives and highlight five major trends in 2012 that are indicative of where the public relations profession is heading in the New Year.
In this week’s PRSA “Friday Five” post — an analysis of the week’s biggest public relations and business news and commentary —we look back on the importance of social media use at the C-suite level, explore the impact of good and bad company reputations, work to perfect our pitch to reporters, get an overdose in crisis communications and finally look at some exceptional non-profits that made the most of social media engagement in 2012.
Trend #1: CEOs Step Up Their Social Media Game
CEOs —you can no longer hide from social media. It will be noticed. In order to keep a finger on the pulse of your company you must listen to conversations about your brand. Most of that conversation is taking place on various social media sites and to keep up, CEOs have to open up, and not just to staff and board of directors, but to their customers living and breathing through various social media channels.
Trend #2: Brands Learn the Value of Corporate Reputation
Brands are beginning to see the value in investing internally in their corporate reputation as it plays a very influential role in how brand products are perceived. Maintaining a strong corporate reputation is especially challenging with the numerous conversations taking place online via social media channels. So how do brands know what’s important and what’s not? The true value of monitoring social media exchanges via Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn lies in the ability to attribute these findings to a corporation’s bottom line. How customers perceive a brand/company greatly impacts sales, brand loyalty, and future branded products that come from any company.
Trend #3: The Relationship Between Journalists and PR Pros Continues to Evolve
The relationship business is a hard one, but that is what separates the good and thoughtful public relations professionals from those who bombard you with emails. Two of the most stressful tasks that all public relations professionals, no matter their career level, are charged with is pitching their clients to the media and developing new business pitches. The key to successful pitches is building relationships with key influencers in the media who can help build a solid case for your client.
Trend #4: Brands Get Schooled in Crisis Management
The news cycle never sleeps, and the bar for what is considered “news” continues to be lowered. One negative article, blog or tweet can snowball and company reputations that have taken years to build can crumble in an instant. And while the success of any business, utility or organization rests firmly on its reputation, some unforeseen crisis is all that’s needed to throw a wrench in a well maintained, honest to goodness reputation.
Trend #5: Nonprofits Make a Big Leap in the Social Realm
People passionate about a cause and eager to bring about social change connect through social media. It is imperative that nonprofits learn how to become visible in social media by using the right medium for the task at hand. Social media are a low resource but not a “no resource” way to connect through trusted networks to new supporters of all kinds. Even social media channels are seeing benefits in creating user friendly tools for nonprofit organizations that offer beneficial outcomes for both parties.
Nicole Castro is the public relations associate at the Public Relations Society of America.