The last ten years have witnessed the PR industry finally come of age.
The barriers between marketing disciplines have dissipated against the background of an increasingly fragmented media landscape, meanwhile the outlook for our industry has never been brighter as creative campaigns, with the ability to scale organically, rise in stock within an ad-blocked, ad-skipped world.
The next few years will witness more seismic change and more opportunities for PR than ever before.
Our challenge, as an industry, will be to upskill at speed as ‘integration’ becomes less of a buzzword and more of a practical marketing reality in the decade ahead.
A good time then to list a few things I’d love to see happen in the next year and beyond for PR - a 2020 vision, if you will.
1 - BE BRAVE
More bravery from creative directors, agencies and in-house teams - a willingness to take a few risks and do things differently.
2 - BE BETTER
Strategic planners at PR agencies - less ‘spinning on a sixpence’ and a move towards longer tail campaigns.
Better planning = better ideas = better work/outcomes.
3 - BE DIVERSE
More diversity within agencies (across all departments). A wide range of backgrounds, opinions and worldviews is the only way we can evolve as an industry and build campaigns which truly resonate.
4 - INTEGRATE
Less talk about ‘integrated’ campaigns and more actual integration. CMO’s valuing (and prioritising) PR within the marketing mix – similarly, PR agencies dispensing with mistrust and embracing the value of working in partnership with other agencies.
5 - GROW UP
Procurement departments finally growing up and seeing value beyond budgets, arbitrary savings and needlessly hoovering up agency time.
6 - NO NONSENSE
Banning nonsense buzzwords i.e.: ‘content’/ ’data driven’/ ‘disruptive’ etc. Overused, over rated and now rendered pretty much meaningless.
7 - ALIGN
Agency social media feeds matching their stated creative ambitions and abilities.
8 - CREDIBILITY OVER REACH
Calling out the ‘BIN-flluencers’. I would like to see the rise of influencer campaigns that prioritise credibility ahead of reach – campaigns rooted in strategies that rely less on likes and more on the quality of engagement.
9 - NO MORE CLICHES
The end of Potter’s Fields as the default ‘iconic London’ backdrop for PR stunts and builds (I think we can all agree this has now superseded ‘floating something down the Thames’ as our industry cliché of choice).
10 - MAKE A DIFFERENCE
More pro-bono work where agencies can flex their creative muscles whilst making a real-world difference.