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PR Predictions for 2013 – Which Were Accurate?


Every time the beginning of a new year approaches, it seems as though every marketing agency and communications guru inhabiting the Internet generates a list of predictions. Whether it is social media trend forecasting, debating the place of traditional communications channels for the next 365 or boldly proclaiming the buzzwords you need to be using for the rest of the year – it seems New Year Prediction Lists are all the rage among my professional peers.

I really like these articles, infographics and all other content born from this type of industry fortune-telling – there’s an underlying competitiveness just screaming the creator’s determination to espouse their vision for the industry’s future faster and more dynamically than anyone else.

With 2013 soon coming to a close (crazy, right?) I thought we’d take a look back at a few Public Relations predictions that struck a chord with me and see which, if any, came to pass.

shutterstock_1115236491.  Quick sharing video

Social media is an essential element of modern public relations, so I really enjoy this social PR prediction for acknowledging that fact and being so on point. 2013 was THE year for quick sharing video apps. Keek, SnapChat, Vine, and Instagram Video are a few popular examples of video sharing apps that exploded into the market recently. Given the increasingly visual-focus of most social media – Pinterest’s mega-popularity, new photo display options for Twitter – it is no surprise that brands seized this trend and took it a step further by using moving images to communicate with their audience. Let’s face it, the only thing better than telling your audience a story is showing them.

Verdict: prediction accurate! Video is golden social media content and now a highly accessible way for brands and organizations to connect with audiences in a hyper-engaging way. In fact, 40% of the top 1,000 most popular Instagram Videos are by brands.

2.  PR companies will continue to work with traditional media, especially newspapers and radio, but there will be more focus on mobile communications.shutterstock_75746941

It’s true, Interkom didn’t miraculously stop collaborating with traditional media partners such as newspapers and radio in 2013, and I seriously doubt other agencies differ in this regard.  By the same token, our agency has  increased its focus on mobile in many ways this year.  We’ve received more mobile-related inquires from clients than ever; many of our websites are Responsive (including our own) and a great deal of our clients’ online advertisements are primarily viewed via mobile devices so they are optimized accordingly. We also led the marketing surrounding the launch of Burlington Taxi’s mobile app which was very cool.

Verdict: prediction vague but accurate! Social media giants like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram each have staggering active user bases – in the hundreds of millions in some cases – this combined with the fact that accessing social media websites has become the number one mobile activity and people nowadays are generally never without their mobile devices, means that audiences can be reached at any place and any time. The implications for PR are amazing. Brands can push out more messaging, more frequently and more targeted than ever, and receive more audience feedback – quickly, effectively and cost-effectively.

3.  Tell storiesshutterstock_4779763

More of a tip than a prediction and more of an everlasting approach than 2013-specific, but I believe in this sentiment. Public Relations is all about managing the flow of information between brand and audience, so it’s important to keep things interesting, relatable and fresh in order to maximize engagement, stimulate consumer action and maintain brand relevance. Branded content or content strictly designed to promote can sometimes feel one dimensional, so balancing these messages with feel-good stories is essential.

Verdict: “prediction” accurate, now and forever! Public Relations IS telling stories.

Keep your eyes on this space – you never know, Interkom may develop its very own New Year Prediction list!

One thing that is certain is our love of PR challenges. Contact us today to learn more about how we can craft, manage and maximize key messaging between your organization and your audience to enhance your public relations. There is nothing we find more exciting than scoring major PR wins for our clients!

– Lauren