Advocacy Thought Leadership

#PRin2013: A Look Back at the Predictions

As we wrap up this year’s #PRin2013 series, here is a recap of what our 12 contributors predicted for the public relations industry in 2013.

Kirk Hazlett, APR, Fellow PRSA, kicked off this year’s #PRin2013 series with a prediction that 2013 would be about accountability. The public relations professional must go beyond merely reaching stakeholder audiences. They must ensure that the message is genuine and any promises made to the public are genuine.

Elise Mitchell, APR, Fellow PRSA, offered up six trends she sees on the horizon this year.

  • Global brands will shift more dollars to local strategies: Brands will focus more on engaging people through content that “has a distinct local tone, style, dialect and flair.”
  • Brands will be defined from the inside out: Companies will use employees in campaigns to demonstrate their ability to “help their own.”
  • Standard metrics will drive new measurement models: Standards allowing the profession to be more outcome driven will be devised and rolled out.
  • Expect more mobile “moments of truth”: Content consumed on-the-go will continue to rise with the demand for smart phones and tablets.
  • Stepped up recruiting of non-traditional hires.
  • Public relations will play a bigger role in leading integrated communications solutions: 2013 will see “more major brand campaigns led by PR and supported with marketing dollars.”

Canada’s Judy Gombita discussed the globalization of the public relations industry, the cultivation of positive internal cultures and employee engagement, the importance of the Melbourne Mandate, the pushback on marketing by public relations, paywalls versus brand journalism, and practicality in social PR measurement.

Accepting a hybrid of earned/paid and owner/paid media is the growing trend around digital media properties according to Peter Himler. Public relations professionals must face the reality that the time has arrived to consider buying a clients’ way into the media outlets they covet.

DePaul University professor Ron Culp predicts that “pageview journalism” is the future and as such public relations professionals will continue to make great strides in extending their “ownership” of social media channels.

Nathan Burgess took on the challenges facing users of social media and the detriment those policies can have on brand pages. Changing policies can lead to loss of fan followership so brands must be prepared to play nice and have a back-up plan.

Chair of the Global Alliance for Public Relations and Communication Management, Dan Tisch, APR Fellow CPRS, set forth four ways organizations can seize the opportunity to lead in 2013.

  • Organization must understand their own character and responsibility in order to engage meaningfully and authentically.
  • Organizational communications will make a gradual change in tone and context.
  • CEOs will shift from a mindset of control to one of influence due to coaching from their PR professionals.
  • Integrated reporting will become the new trend in organizations.

Sean Williams discussed the important role of internal communications within an organization. “Internal communicators are forging partnerships across silos, building strong relationships deep into the organization, and have the chops to serve as counselors at the highest level on the process and function of communication within the enterprise.”

Understanding the nature of mobile’s expanding role on the marketing stage is critical according to Janet Tyler, APR. Mobile technology is changing our habits and impacts every single business.

Philip Tate, APR, Fellow PRSA, discussed how convergence and market forces impact how we communicate. “Digital, social and search are changing how public relations is managed on a daily basis. More organizations are turning to integrated agencies as they seek better collaboration across disciplines – public relations, media, marketing, digital, social, etc.”

The evolution of social media and the decline of traditional media have led to changing roles in mentor/mentee relationships. Sean Kelly, APR, FCPRS, looked at how the seasoned professional now looks to the younger, technologically savvy professional for guidance.

Finally, Shonali Burke predicted that the public and the industry would see smart measurement, PR as community management, and the rise of the PR consultant in 2013.


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