PR 2020: What will it be like?
[By Jason Mollica]
Victor Hugo once said that there is nothing like a dream to create the future. If you had asked public relations professionals in 2005 what their daily routine would look like, there’s a good chance none would have predicted the landscape of 2016. Social media has helped to break down the siloed thinking of the past and we are seeing a much more communicative industry.
It hasn’t all been sunshine and rainbows, though. We’ve seen PR blunders amplified beyond understanding, at times; today’s PR “fail” may be tomorrow’s win. Newsrooms have been shrinking, so our need to understand what the media want is integral. Consumers also want answers yesterday and have become impatient when they don’t have an answer within seconds.
2016 is not that old, but we are staring down the year 2020. It’s hard to believe that by that time social networks like Facebook and Twitter will be over ten years old. So, how will public relations be thought of by then?
First, it’s my feeling that we’ll see a greater understanding of the melding of PR, marketing and advertising. If you are a PR pro in 2016, you are most likely still trying to describe what you do. By 2020, communications professionals will have a better grasp on what we do and how we do it. Let’s be honest: being called a communications pro isn’t a bad thing.
Second, we’ll finally have a better way to measure the work we do, day in and day out. Some believe that the Barcelona Principles are the end all, be all for measuring PR campaigns. However, with so many ways of reaching audiences now, the Principles aren’t the measuring stick that is needed. In simplifying measurement by audience and impact, communications campaigns will have a more focused result to showcase to the C-Suite.
Third, there will not be a social media “killer.” Now, or in 2020. Facebook and Twitter continue to evolve, just like television and radio did after they were first introduced. These platforms are constantly tweaking and evolving into more effective parts of our lives as professionals and consumers. Twitter and Facebook led to Instagram and Vine. Now, there’s Blab and Snapchat. The more connected our audiences become, the more social our platforms will be.
Last, but not least, the media release will not be dead in 2020, just like it’s not dead today. However, I can absolutely guarantee that there will be close to a million blog posts stating that the release is, in fact, dead.
What do you think PR will be in 2020? Let us know in the comments.