With the New Year upon us, it’s time again for industry insiders and gurus to come out with their predictions for the upcoming year. Traditional media and blogs are peppered with predictions stories, from technology trends to outlooks for the U.S. economy.
The PR industry is no different. PR practitioners have already begun to hit the blogosphere with bold forecasts for 2014. And while it is always fun to look ahead, I thought it would be interesting to look at some of the winning and losing 2013 PR predictions.
Below are a few of the highlights. Kudos to those who hung it all out there. Whether you were right or wrong, it takes a little courage to jump into the role of fortuneteller.
Rise of Visual Storytelling“The picture is the story. The rise of infographics, photo sharing and visual storytelling will push PR pros to deploy visual messages to compete in a crowded content market.” – PRSA Public Relations Tactics
The Verdict: Very True. No question, visual storytelling was central to PR success in 2013. Top brands used video, infographics and photo sharing to reach audiences with less time and shorter attention spans. Our clients certainly took advantage of visual storytelling in 2013 and we expect this trend to continue in the coming year.
The Power of Newsjacking“Become a Newsjacker! A powerful PR technique is to embed your message into an emerging news story or current event.” – 30MinutePR
The Verdict: No Kidding. While this was a strangely-worded prediction (more of a trend), newsjacking continued to be a powerful method for asserting an organization’s expertise in 2013. We certainly saw high profile news cycles present numerous opportunities for our clients, allowing them to build thought leadership and visibility in top outlets they would not have otherwise been a part of.
LinkedIn is the New Facebook“More brands will use LinkedIn to monitor conversations and connect with customers and influencers.”– PR Daily
The Verdict: Interesting, but Overstated. Yes, brands (particularly B2B brands) increasingly turned to LinkedIn to engage customers and leads, with a 38 percent rise in membership in 2013. But can we credibly call LinkedIn the new Facebook? I think not. LinkedIn’s 259 million users still pale in comparison to Facebook’s 1.15 billion users. It will be some time before LinkedIn reaches the ubiquity of Facebook. That said, the growth and popularity of the LinkedIn platform continues to offer great opportunities for our clients to reach key influencers and leads.
Standard Metrics Will Drive New Measurement Models“The industry will finally roll out a set of standard metrics that helps position public relations as more outcome-driven.” – PRSay
The Verdict: I Wish. There have been recent international efforts to develop a uniform standard for measuring PR success, but the industry is nowhere near attaining a standard that is prevalent across the practice of PR. Until we have a standard, RH Strategic has developed meaningful measurement methodologies that demonstrate ROI for our clients.
The Reputable Journalist is Revived“The rise of blogging and social media has increased the volume of online news and the speed at which it’s available, often at the expense of responsible reporting… The citizen journalist’s 15 minutes of fame are running out and information-overloaded consumers will demand a higher standard of reporting in 2013.” – PR Daily
The Verdict: Really, Who? This is by no means clear-cut. Have Americans really become fed up with citizen journalism or are they just as frustrated with professional journalists who get it wrong? The continued contraction of traditional media in 2013 indicates perhaps the latter. High profile blunders by outlets such as CBS 60 Minutes (Benghazi) and The New York Post (Boston Marathon bombings) calls this prediction into question. Last year Americans continued to turn to both traditional and non-traditional media, without a clear winner in the ‘reputable’ category.
Not too bad for 2013. Now, let’s sit back and see how well the pundits do in 2014. Happy New Year!