Here are thoughts on some of the trends that will ensure public relations remains one of today’s most dynamic professions. The PR community can expect that 2010 will be the year that:
o Social media will become a part of every PR professional’s daily routine, and will emerge as the primary vehicle for thought leadership initiatives, surpassing traditional tactics like speaker placements and bylined articles.
o PR people will be able to exercise long-dormant writing muscles as they answer the call for blog content, podcast and viral video scripts and other forms of self-published digital media content.
o The collision of social and mainstream media will continue, with social media becoming the focus of more mainstream media reporting as the general public comes to understand and embrace platforms such as Twitter.
o Content-rich news releases will become the norm — a shift from traditional announcements toward releases that are packaged much like news stories for editorial placement.
o Media consolidation will continue, and more journalists will turn to their own blogs, vlogs and podcasts as a channel to report on the areas they monitor.
o Businesses will hire a larger number of former journalists to provide content for corporate blogs, Web sites, newsletters and other self-publishing initiatives.
o Terms such as “press conference,” “publicist,” “press tour” and “embargo” will rarely enter the conversation — replaced by “tweet-ups,” “Google Analytics” and “RSS readers.”
o Mobile devices will emerge as a channel for a broader base of PR campaigns — and a platform for an explosion of new products and applications for PR professions to promote.
Tony Sapienza is the co-founder and principal partner of Topaz Partners, a Boston-based technology PR and social media relations firm. Prior to co-founding Topaz in 2002, he served as president of Miller/Shandwick Technologies, one of the world’s leading tech PR firms, and was global technology practice leader for Weber Shandwick Worldwide. Paula Slotkin, founder and principal partner of Topaz Partners, has more than 20 years of experience in planning, managing and implementing communications programs.