It’s no secret that digital literacy has become a prerequisite of any PR firm as it continues to become wholly integrated into all brand communications and planning. We see daily the impact of technology and digital innovation shifting the dial of PR comms. Of all the changes we are hearing about and seeing, for me, there are 4 keys areas where the greatest impact will be felt in 2015.
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1/ DATA & INSIGHT
The real time availability of fully processed, cleansed and targeted big data, provided through the licensing of web based tools will enable the industry to become much closer to the consumer driving deeper insight and smarter brand strategy.
As a result, agencies will become smarter, faster and will be able to start to compete on analytics and genuine reporting on the real value of PR comms above creative execution.
2/ SPECIALIST SKILLS
We’re already seeing continued investment in talent and new specialist roles to embrace ‘digital’ needs e.g. film producers, videographers, content mangers etc. There is no standard organogram for a PR team today – and every brief requires a different set of digital specialists to complement it. We’ll start to see a shift away from copy specialists to individuals who have analytical skills to pull insights from data that feed the press release.
‘Influencer’ relations will continue to play a hugely important role for PR. The power of bloggers is undisputed and with new platforms come new content creators, editors and pseudo celebrities who represent ever growing value to brands wanting to be relevant and noticed.
3/ CONTEXT & CONTENT
Ever evolving communications landscape means brands will need to continue to engage with audiences through relevant channels and platforms. Brands need to be where the audience lives and plays – be it print, online, social, live/experiential, broadcast etc. They also need to be more culturally relevant than ever before.
As content and news becomes further democratised with UGC and publishers breaking stories on social rather than traditional media brands will have to adapt to embrace and leverage this new norm.
4/ MICRO TARGETING
Ultimately, technology is enabling hyper tailored communications. Personalisation will be a continued trend and consumers will begin to expect, not just enjoy, tailored, personalised brand targeting.
And it will be no surprise when mobile and smart devices become the primary device on which media is consumed changing the format/UX