(DGIwire) Public relations is the lifeblood of strong companies. Without a solid public relations plan, even the best company can lose traction among its flashier competitors. But like every aspect of business, the way in which people tackle their media outreach must evolve as the years go on.
The Business Journals, a premier online media solutions platform, offers these predictions for the future of public relations, going forward in 2015 and beyond:
- Competition will be fierce. The number of data-headed journalists is on the rise, making for a more competitive coverage landscape. The most notable, newsworthy, unique and interesting topics will continue to earn media play, while the remaining “noise” will fall to the wayside.
- Social media will become more of a trusted source. Due to their prevalence, social media and other digital environments will become even more of a trusted news source. For maximum success, businesses must manage, analyze, support and communicate with all social media outlets, and ensure that their own online presence fully represents their company and products to the best of their ability.
- Digital reputation management will be key. A broadening interest in citizen journalism, courtesy of blogging and access to social media via smartphones, means that the communications path is no longer one-way; it is two-way and immediate. One negative tweet can cause insurmountable damage in a matter of minutes.
- Increased demand for accurate and detailed PR measurement. If you’re charging a client for PR services, you need an established method for proving a return on investment for said services. Historically, clients received gigantic books of articles that “proved” how valuable a PR program or campaign was. But now with the vast majority of content online, it’s harder to create such a portfolio. Still, clients working with PR agencies should demand that the agency prove itself by providing some evidence of its past success, as well as reliable references.
- Crisis planning will continue to be essential. If we learned nothing else from the numerous PR crises over the past few years, it was that an in-place crisis plan needs to be established immediately. Many companies endured significant hits to their reputations while scrambling to tie up loose ends. PR staffs should aggressively counsel their clients to create and frequently review crisis plans.
Dian Griesel, Ph.D., President of DGI Comm, an award-winning media relations and news placement agency based in New York City, is so adamant about keeping PR plans up-to-date that she has literally written a book about it. ENGAGE: Smart Ideas to Get More Media Coverage, Build Your Influence & Grow Your Business shares 226 “smart ideas” that companies and their PR teams can use to capture the attention of their target audiences, build influence as they establish expert status and, as a result, power up the growth of their business to the level they seek through lots of free media coverage.
“A large portion of my book is dedicated to how game-changing social media and online resources can be,” explains Dian. “In order to stay on top of the changing tides, PR professionals need to learn the ins and outs of these new outlets. If not, their reputations—and the companies they represent—will capsize.”