I may have struggled with predictions heading into 2014
, but if at first you don't succeed, try and try again, as they say. So with failed attempts as the background of this post, here are my three predictions that we should be able to mock together in around 12 months.
- PR firms will become more scalable by bringing in situational talent. As the economy moves to a more freelance-heavy situation, folks with experience in very specific niches (for example, crisis communications or research creation and promotion) will begin to find additional sources of revenue from PR firms looking to run lean, but add services their clients expect.
- A new media database will gain huge ground. With Cision and Vocus merging, it basically leaves one company that dominates the media database industry, and not a whole lot of competition. If history teaches us anything, it is that when there is one dominant player, that player is ripe for being knocked off, and this will be no exception. I don't know how (perhaps crowd sourcing?), but a company will emerge to compete with the new "Vosian" via an innovative approach offering significant savings.
- Some media company will finally get "local" right. How many attempts have there been at creating town-by-town media? AOL's Patch was perhaps the most innovative (or at least the best funded), and never really took off (it is basically in the dead pool now). That said, somehow, and in some way, a media service aimed at communities will take hold, and perhaps reinvigorate the newspaper industry, offering reporters who have been covering local angles for years a new venue for their voices to be heard (stretch prediction — the company figuring out local will do so via podcasting).
As a reminder, I still believe that the wire services are ripe for disruption. There is simply no reason companies should pay thousands of dollars annually for distribution services that provide little to no SEO value via an antiquated model.
Thanks for reading for the last year.