With the market in a slightly unpredictable flux – it’s more important than ever to look at predictions for this next chapter and ensure we’re prepared for every eventuality. The PR and communications world is constantly changing and developing, so this is nothing new – but rather than do the typical ‘predictions for the new year’ piece in December, with now being a bigger time of change than ever before, we look at our top five trends and what we believe the future of the market will look like:
Long live the journalist
We believe there is a renewed demand for newspapers driven by consumer’s frustration with superficial and verbose content that comes from self-proclaimed experts whose only claim to fame is a blog with high SEO. Quality content published by trained journalists and sector-specific academics will always win though, and for this reason the newspaper industry may dip and wane. But it will never be any less important as the fourth-estate of our society. It is why the New European, which was launched in just under two weeks and in stark contrast to New Day, has been so popular. And so at Limelight we will always put a priority on the printed word.
96% of all surveys are factually incorrect….maybe
In more recent times, web-surveys have become more prevalent because of their cost efficiency and speed. But this has pulled into question the accuracy of data collected for social commentary. Unfortunately – PR is driving much of the criticism, when used to create coverage for coverage sake. Research must become more sophisticated if PR is to gain any traction with the c-suite. It means asking questions that influence business decisions and mapping key influencers with new tools (Fifty media) to properly understand what sentiment and behaviours are towards a particular topic. It’s this kind of insight that that will give PR the respect it deserves. Two of our clients, better than anyone, understand this – The Mix and Gallup.
“Video Found Not Guilty”
It seems that video did not kill the radio star. Multiple disciplines will co-exist, putting a priority on what we at Limelight call multi-channel thought leadership. But if traditional PR agencies do not get on board with mobile, video and live streaming platforms, then they will only lose further to their new content marketing cousins and advertising brothers.
Just as I talk about the rise of video, the video platform Blab bites the dust. No-one saw it coming based on its user base of 4 million. So who is to say that Twitter won’t be around in five years’ time? I know this is a stretch but the only thing we have control over is our own destiny. Which means maximising the opportunities for brand publishing and using social channels and digital PR to amplify that content. Rather than the other way around. Remember – when it comes to social platforms you are creating content on their terms and playing by their rules. Far better to play your own game first.
Firstly if PR needs to be taken seriously it needs to stop white labelling the kind of technology that uses data to track influencers, monitor conversations, extract customer insight and measure effectiveness. Our value lies in what we do with the data – not how we got it! And actually working with tools, like Traakr, should add brand equity to your proposition.
Secondly we need to bolster our content services by developing innovative ways to communicate with stakeholders by owning things like visual annual reports, video reporting to the market, interactive newsletters, in-house web channels and employee engagement and even exploring how new tools like VR can be used.