Public relations was a static field for decades, but when the Internet became widely accessible in the late 90’s, the industry quickly began to change. As social media became more popular, the PR world was turned upside down. A constantly revised online landscape presented unexplored perils and incredible opportunity, and the scope of what’s possible is still changing today.
As 2015 kicks off, public relations professionals are taking stock of what worked in 2014—and what didn’t—to predict what will be hot this year.
1. Real-time marketing will become more prevalent.
Evergreen content that can be used any time is always good to have, but marketing that revolves around current events and topics is becoming increasingly more successful in social media arteries. Real-time marketing can be broadcast quickly, show off more sides of a brand’s personality, and go viral on social media in a blink. An of-the-now content style will no longer be a nice addition to a marketing plan, but a must-have strategy.
2. Mobile will get even bigger.
Mobile has been the reigning king for the past several years, and 2015 will be no different. Pew Research studies found 44 percent of people had smartphones in 2011, and 58 percent owned one in 2014. This year, the number of people two-thumb typing on smartphones will keep growing, giving mobile marketing tools the chance to pack a bigger punch than ever.
3. Connectivity will lead to more questions of security.
Major hacks in 2014 were harsh reminders of the consequences of living in a connected world. Businesses feel exposed, and no company wants to provide the next headline about a deep hack. As more and more information is collected and connected through digital channels, tighter security will be one of the biggest concerns.
4. Will tweeters ever learn?
Twitter is a free-flowing river of information, but all too often it becomes an avalanche in the wake of ill-conceived posts. From celebrities’ offhanded invitations to meme to inappropriate comments about racism and domestic violence, Twitter has proven again and again that technology moves much faster than verbal filters. With a growing encyclopedia of disasters to learn from, public relations firms are trying to help clients get a tighter grip on their Tweet buttons.
5. Crowdsourced marketing will take the lead.
Organic brand evangelism has always been the ultimate boon in the marketing world, and viral marketing is one of its best expressions to date. No one saw the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge coming, but everyone from your mom to Anne Hathaway and Robert Downey Jr. got in on the freeze. And we couldn’t resist it either. Social media buzz and viral marketing equal major brand awareness, and it’s one arena where everyone is looking to score big.