I took an informal poll of my Firefly colleagues by asking for some 2011 PR predictions. Always an interesting question to posit this time of year, so here’s a quick roundup of the top responses:
Measure, measure, measure: this could be a make-or-break year for some measurement and evaluation providers, covering both traditional and social media. Expect more consolidation as well as standardisation across the industry, which will necessitate even closer collaboration between third party measurement vendors and PRs . For some sound industry points of view, check out these principles (and “hoorah!” for principle 5, in particular).
Back-to-basics: this year, if they haven’t already, PRs should turn their attention to analytics. This means both the raw data served up by your measurement/evaluation tool of choice, as well as probing those figures like good, old-fashioned data sleuths. It’s not enough to drop pretty graphs into PowerPoint presentations: be prepared to answer why.
Great copy: at the risk of sounding old-fashioned, we’re also big believers in the “return of great copy”. Whilst we’re still happy tweeting, poking and digg.ing, great copy is still great copy, and has its place in the world of PR and communications. Just ask Copyblogger.
Where are they now? Last year, we saw more friends leap onto new, social media platforms like Posterous, Quora and Gowalla. Admittedly, it’s getting harder to keep up with their sheer numbers (the platforms, not our friends), as well as gauge whether there’s a substantial enough following on each. Although the social media graveyard is growing, we predict it will be easier to resurrect some fundamentally great ideas, because of the low barrier to entry in the first instance. And when that happens – complete with the necessary tweaks to make these platforms truly great – then we can talk about the real, game-changing Web.