2012 PR Forecast: Trendy or Obsolete?

By Carole Bersillon, Intern

As a new year begins, resolutions and predictions are made while last year’s best and worst lists circulate… even the communications industry does not escape the traditional agenda of January’s media coverage. No sooner is 2011 over than we want to know what 2012 will bring. The Wall Street Journal released an article last week about advertising trends for 2012. It seems that the industry is heading towards a massive use of technology (YouTube, Social Media, Tablets)  to revamp old techniques (traditional TV ads and print), as well as the use of applications to provide personalized product suggestions to consumers. These predictions make sense for advertising but what about PR?

So far, trend previsions appear to be similar. After researching and comparing various blogs and articles, I was able to compile the following global tendencies:

Smart Use of Social Media – Companies have been turning to social media platforms as substitutes to their corporate websites for years. They now want to see the results. (Also on this topic, see Crisis Management, the real test of a brand in the social media space?)

Business Outcomes – PR should now meet the ‘business objectives’ for the companies they represent.

Media Relations – High quality content and well targeted pitching.

Mobile Campaigns – Mobile phones are said to be the most meaningful relationship with brands.

Data Savvy – Measurement has become the unconditional proof to companies that their investment in PR was worth it.

I found myself disappointed with the above list. These trends are not really trends; nor are they new for the industry. It appears that every PR plan should provide high quality and well targeted content, as well as evidence of return on investment for the client. Also, I have always thought of communication or PR as essential strategic activities supporting performance objectives for any company.

So maybe we should wish that 2012 will bring more creativity to the industry?

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