By Amanda Fountain, Senior Account Executive, MSLGROUP
What can public relations expect in 2015? If 2014 studies hold true, we may see increased budgets and overall growth to continue. But what can PR professionals expect from the evolution of our field?
At last week’s PRSA Boston Chapter event hosted by Racepoint Global, a panel of local industry experts tackled the emerging trends that are expected in 2015 and beyond and shared their insights on where we can see changes. Panelists included:
- Peter Prodromou, President, Racepoint Global
- Mark McClennan, APR, PRSA National Chair Elect
- Grant Ho, VP of Marketing, NaviNet
This well-rounded panel offered perspectives offered from the industry, agency and client sides. Here’s what to look out for:
Storytelling will be faster
At its heart, public relations is about telling a story. Stories can be told in many different ways and it has often felt like PR is competing against advertising, marketing and other similar fields. Instead, we can expect to see a convergence of digital, content, research, creative and investigative approaches to tell a story. The manner in which stories are created and shared will more closely resemble a TV newsroom – and it will be fast. Attention spans are getting increasingly short, making it necessary for PR professionals to identify the strongest story and share it quickly. For those in PR this means learning new skills, such as learning how to write a creative brief, explained Peter Prodromou.
Analytics will be king
Numbers are the “new black.” Measurement has to evolve and metrics that show how PR influences sales will be necessary to demonstrate ROI. Mark McClennan asserted, “PR professionals must embrace the language of business – numbers and analytics – to be successful and trusted advisers.” Likewise, Grant Ho said he measures conversion rates to benchmark against competitors. Just talking about needing metrics is not going to work anymore. We need to find a method for capturing the right analytics to show clients how our works connects to the bottom line. Analytics will be the best way to show how we are capable of moving people toward action.
Pushing boundaries will be necessary
We may not quite be at an “evolve or perish” stage, but innovation is key to moving forward. To stay competitive, PR professionals will need to start adopting different tactics to give their clients what they need. Clients hire us for the experience and know-how; in turn, it’s our job to push back and suggest thoughtful strategies that push boundaries and get results. Panelist Grant Ho said, “An expectation for me is for PR firms to test our understanding and push back on the client.” With the lines blurring between creative, social and media relations, it’s become necessary for PR to take on a hybrid role that can tap into many methods for sharing stories and getting results.
Do you have your own prediction for 2015? Tell us in comments and Tweet it out using #prsabos.