Prepping your PR plans for 2016: What to look for, what to ignore
[By Jason Mollica]
Between now and Dec. 31, you will be inundated with emails, blogs, and podcasts advising you how to get ready for 2016. Whether it is the next best monitoring platform, the social channel you MUST focus more on, or why you need to ditch the press release, the advice is enough to drive you to the eggnog bowl.
Let’s make this easy for PR pros, though. In 2016, we want to make your lives a bit less hectic (hopefully). By focusing your efforts on what you should really be doing, like helping clients and/or your company succeed, you’ll be happier. Ok, let’s go!
- The Death of… Every year we get the same blog post or exclamation that the press release is dead. As a matter of fact, do a Google search and you’ll get 102 million results about it. The press release isn’t dead; it has evolved. Just like we, as pros, have changed with the times, the traditional press release isn’t what it used to be. Email, and then social media, helped to enhance a valuable outreach tool. Save yourself time and the click. Ignore the “Death of..” posts.
- Emerging social platforms. In 2015, we saw channels like Blab, Periscope, and Meerkat hit the mainstream. Periscope and Meerkat dominated the conversation, and then along came Blab. What should you look for in 2016? Aside from ways to integrate these tools into current strategies, you should be downloading these apps and learning how to use them. Now. PR pros should not be behind in understanding and adapting to new tools. We need to drive the conversation on them.
- Understand Mobile. The stats don’t lie. According to a study from Internet Retailer, 60% of global consumers use their mobile device as the primary or exclusive internet source. In 2016, Smart Insights predicts that mobile ad spending will exceed spending on desktop, reaching almost $70 billion worldwide. As PR pros, we need to make absolutely certain we understand what mobile can bring our clients and companies. It’s where our audiences are and will be for years to come.
- Let’s go to the video. Earlier this year, digital video communications firm, D S Simon released its annual Media Influencer Report. In it, 76% of those surveyed reported using outside-produced video. PR pros have an opportunity to build strong relationships with the media by using video, especially in an age when newsrooms are shrinking. Build relationships (and trust) by being a content creator.
- Ignore the “Social Media is Free” statement. I still hear this way too much. Yes, technically, Facebook is “free” to sign on and use. But for PR pros, that’s where it stops. Twitter has become way too valuable to be considered something we can think of as a free platform. If a potential client or current client says to you that Facebook and Twitter are free, explain to them how much time it takes to come up with a strategy, social media posting plan, and communications outreach. That will stop the “free” conversation. We need to be honest. Social media isn’t a fad or free. They are networks for conversation, influence and branding.
Did we miss anything? What are you looking forward to in 2016? What will you ignore? Let us know in the comments. Here’s to a great and successful New Year!