News media will continue to struggle. In the last month, a variety of online news sites and newspapers trimmed their staffs once again. The Denver Post, for instance, accepted buyouts from 19 staffers, whose combined experience at the paper was 470 years. For the PR world, this means only the best pitches will rise to the top, given staffing issues and declining news space.
Social media will continue to define PR. Social media will grow as our go-to venue for our clients, bypassing traditional outlets. The downside is that bad news will spread faster and reach more people, elevating the role of crisis communicators who try to control the conversation.
PR will lead technology and communication innovation. The two are inextricably linked, so our profession will be at the forefront of new ways to communicate using emerging technologies. We also will support a new wave of communications from mommy and daddy bloggers to content aggregators.
The debate over paid versus earned media will continue. As the PR world looks to alternative messaging conduits, we will need to specify the evolving roles of paid and earned media. We will compete with marketing and SEO companies that pay for placement as we struggle to get earned hits.
PR’s role will continue to grow. Call it the court of public opinion. Clients increasingly will understand the value of proactive and reactive PR. The speed at which messages move means we will keep our seats at the strategy table. We will bring our views on the changing media world, reputation management, crisis communication, internal communication, and community relations.
(This post also appears on Ragan’s PRDaily.com)