2013 prediction: Technology keeps PR pros on their toes.

By: Megan Valentine

Just as each day in the life of a public relations professional is different, the trends and techniques in the field change each year and advances in technology force PR pros to constantly stay on their toes. Many different forecasts of changes that will come about in 2013 have been released since the beginning of January, but some of the ideas seem to show up much more often than others.

Increased multi-media usage was one prediction that was included almost every time. In 2013 everything from press releases to social media posts will be expected to contain various types of content in order to catch the attention of the audience. As Jenni Rumer of PR Newswire stated at one of our recent meetings, “more multi-media equals more views.”

Using text alone will no longer be an option, and even combining words with only a photo infographic_multimedia2012will simply not cut it. Rumer and recent OU grad Amanda Stefanik displayed the huge advantage professionals who use all of the multi-media options at their disposal have over their competitors in a PR Newswire infographic analysis.

Scripps PRSSA VP of Social Affairs Cidnye Weimer believes Twitter will be one outlet where this trend becomes vital.

“Companies are going to start realizing that quick responses on social media are a must. I think they will definitely be utilizing Twitter a lot, especially with things like hashtags and    contests,” commented Weimer.

Paul Matson of Razorfish demonstrated this trend at the PRSSA meeting on Monday as well by showing how Mercedes Benz used interactive posts and community engagement to fuel their Tweet Race. This stunt was revolutionary when it took place in 2011 and goes to show how much more is open for discovery as we dive even further into the numerous multi-media content options.

Another trend that will undoubtedly take off as we move further into this year is the use of Vine. According to Scripps PRSSA VP of Member Relations Nicole Spears “the advantages it has to offer are too good to allow the ‘fad’ to fade,” and many others seem to agree.

From the time of its release earlier this year, the free app has allowed users to customize the short video clips for everything from advertising and news to resumes. The New York Humane Society recently even used it to find a home for one of the cats in its care (more info here), showing just how endless the possibilities are.

While return on investment has always been a major focus in the field of public relations, it will also become even more important this year as clients demand highly specific quantified results.

“In 2013, the PR industry will be forced to backup vague terms, like engagement or influence, by explicitly proving their worth to the business,” stated this recent Holmes Report article.

In reality, there is no way to tell for sure what 2013 has in store for PR professionals. A new app or social media outlet could flip the world upside down, or maybe Myspace will make a comeback as more people learn of the sites recent reinvention. However, being adaptive is one of the keys to success in public relations and as long as we stay attentive and creative we should have no problem handling the curveballs 2013 throws at us!

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