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What Will Be PR’s Biggest News in 2013?
By: Gerard E. Mayers
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According to a recent article on PRDaily.com, there are six items which will probably be “big” in 2013, Therefore, to paraphrase the prdaily.com article, following are likely to be the big PR and social media news in 2013:
 
1. LinkedIn will be the “new” Facebook for business in 2013.
How many of us flacks have LinkedIn profiles? This flack has one and would be shocked if any of his colleagues did not. As PR Daily noted, “New and enhanced features on the [LinkedIn] site, such as its "endorse" capability (which employs the one-click validation of a Facebook "like") and new profile and company page designs are encouraging users to spend more time building their personal brands with LinkedIn's tools. Companies, particularly in the B2B world, will increasingly recognize its marketing potential.”
 
2. Governments will embrace social media even more. PR Daily noted, “As citizens in the U.S. and around the world demand increased transparency from governments, officials at every level from local to national will turn increasingly to social media to stay connected with their constituents. Social media will see an increase of political conversations in 2013, driving its adoption as a news source for citizens, traditional media, and the government.” This should create opportunities for PR across almost all spectrums, especially among advocacy groups.
 
3. Truth in Journalism, as in the old days, will be again touted as “the thing” to do. As citizens in the U.S. and around the world demand increased transparency from governments, officials at every level from local to national will turn increasingly to social media to stay connected with their constituents. Social media will see an increase of political conversations in 2013, driving its adoption as a news source for citizens, traditional media, and the government. According to the PR Daily article, “Misinformation and rumors can spread quickly and trigger considerable backlash, especially when a news organization compromises accuracy in the name of speed (as evidenced by CNN and Fox News's memorable misreporting of the Supreme Court ruling on health care reform). The citizen journalist's 15 minutes of fame are running out and information-overloaded consumers will demand a higher standard of reporting in 2013.”
 
4. PR pitches go simpler and mobile. If anything, Twitter has taught PR that brevity is simplicity itself. If you can not pitch your pitch in 140 characters or less, you will fall behind. Smartphones, rather than computers, are where the action will increasingly be found.
 
5. IMAGES tell the story. The old saying of a photo or image worth a thousand words again proves (and rings) true. As PR Daily said, the “rise of infographics, photo sharing, and visual storytelling will push PR pros and their clients to deploy messages visually in order to compete in a crowded content market. All Things D reported that in August [2012], smartphone users spent more time on Instagram than on Twitter for the first time since Instagram launched in 2010. This is indicative of a broader shift toward visual content in the digital space.”
 
6.  PR will be “the key” to successful corporate reputations. The rise of social media and its impact on businesses and corporate reputations as well as the ability to use it for PR purposes means that us flacks will be more important in 2013 than ever. As PR Daily noted, “more businesses [will] recognize the opportunities (and threats) that social media present to their corporate reputation, and the demand from stakeholders for direct engagement, they are reaching out to PR agencies and practitioners for support. PR pros, who have long been responsible for managing the dialogue between an organization and the public, will emerge as trendsetters in the social space by providing valuable communications counsel and achieving results that directly impact clients' bottom lines.”
 
Let’s revisit these trend topics at this time next year and see whether or not expectations were fulfilled.


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About the Author
Gerard E. "Gerry" Mayers, formerly Marketing Director for HODT Inc., based in Langhorne, PA, writes about PR and other relevant topics for PR professionals. He presently acts as Marketing and Editorial Director for Green Oak Press, LLC (greenoakpress.com) based in Lawrenceville, NJ.
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