|2015 PRediction Revisit
By: Mike Bush
In earlier drafts, the title of this piece ranged from "Check Out All the Things I Said That Were Wrong" to "Accurate Like Trump" to "Good Thing I'm Not a VC." Heading into 2014, I made a trio of PRedictions that, as it turned out, weren’t so good. Heading into 2015, I again made PRedictions, and now, a little more than two weeks before the end of the year, it seems like a good time to revisit. To borrow from Gregg Easterbrook, remember, all predictions guaranteed or your money back.
My first prediction had to do with PR firms taking a new approach to talent, building a small core of folks to work on account teams but bringing in extra (specialist) hands when required. I’m going to claim half credit for this one. The freelancer movement and gig economy show that, yes, there are opportunities to contribute in freelance ways (and smart firms have taken advantage of this trend). However, it didn’t happen overnight, and one of the things I neglected to consider in this prediction is the client. Generally speaking, clients want consistency on their account teams, and while regularly ebbing and flowing talent in and out may make sense on paper (and generate stronger results), I suspect there are very few clients who would be comfortable with this arrangement. Again…½ credit.
My second prediction was that a new media database company would gain ground on what was then a very topical merger — the Vocus/Cision merger. As a side note, I’ve also said that the wire services would be disrupted (for two straight years). Here’s where I’ve been wrong: Cision has a singular focus on building a comprehensive suite of PR tools and owning the market. Cision/Vocus combined two of the biggest media databases on the market. And just this week, Cision bought PR Newswire. I’ve been talking up a bubble-gum and duct-tape approach that combines tools that have a singular focus. Cision’s been trying to build and buy their way into having a comprehensive offering. Hats off to the company, even if I still think they can be unseated over the long term. No points for this prediction.
My final prediction for last year was that someone would finally figure out “local” for the Internet. Companies are trying (check out what PitchEngine is doing with Communities), but no one is there yet. There’s still a dearth of local, positive news being broadcast, and someone will figure out how to highlight the good things happening in communities. It’s only a matter of time. But there remain two major hurdles: 1) It’s tough to monetize for small audiences, and 2) Perhaps the Internet changed our definition of “communities,” from “where we live” to the interests we have.
So, for the second year in a row, my predictions left a little something to be desired.
That said, we’re going to change things up on Flack Me this year, and will be posting a roundup of predictions from all of the writers here. That’s right…after striking out so much, I’m bringing in other folks to help out.
Mike Bush is a PR and Marketing freelancer with more than a dozen years of experience in the field. Find him on and connect Twitter @mikebush or at www.mikebush.nyc.
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