Celebrating 25 years of looking at what’s next
If you follow us on Facebook, you may be aware that we are celebrating our 25th anniversary this week. Everyone had a great time in Boston last night for our summer outing. The weather was perfect for a scavenger hunt, and for drinks and food at Tia’s on the waterfront. We’re all looking forward to cake and champagne later this afternoon.
Looking forward is how we’re all viewing this milestone. Twenty-five years in tech PR is like a century given how fast this industry moves. But to us, it’s seemed like a lot less time than that – because we’re always looking ahead at what’s next. That’s our daily challenge. It’s what has led to successful relationships with so many clients. It’s what is so important to attracting the best and brightest talent. It’s what drives us to deliver value every day.
Amidst the celebration this week, I’ve been posing a few questions to my colleagues about what the 25 years will hold for us in our market and careers. The insight gleaned is diverse and very interesting and I’d like to share it here.
We’d love to know your take on any of these questions, so please let us know in the comments.
In the meantime, please help us raise a virtual glass today to Lois Paul & Partners – and the next 25 years!
How will your day be spent differently doing your PR job 25 years from now as opposed to today?
More social interactions with all audiences. Fewer “pitches” and more meaningful interactions.
I see the future of video exchange and live conferencing changing the landscape of meetings and our daily activities, which I feel will be important in re-establishing the social skills that social media has been accused of eliminating. Who knows - we may even be teleporting ourselves to client meetings in 25 years OR will there be so many brands, PR won’t even be able to keep up?
Everything will be mobile and messages will be communicated through digital packaging, and electronic communication capabilities built into actual products and home appliances. We will need to communicate through all of these channels that will be all around us.
What will be the biggest drivers of change in public relations overall or, more specifically, in our core B2B markets of technology, health care and clean tech?
Fewer media, more opportunities to influence audiences directly.
I was talking about this very thing yesterday with a client and we both agree that it will be the role of the journalist that will change. We are starting to see this shift now with more vendors hiring well-known reporters to start their own news portals and working with specific reporters exclusively to put out industry content. This will certainly impact the future of public relations and I’m looking forward to seeing how we also continue to evolve to cope with the change.
Virtual, mobile, voice and touch technology will advance to the state presented in the Tom Cruise movie, Minority Report.
In the next 25 years, I believe healthcare will see a great increase in personalized medicine, with technology allowing patients easier access to healthcare providers and improved diagnosis and treatment processes. I hope to be pitching stories about the billions of dollars my clients have saved the U.S. health system through more efficient solutions.
In 25 years, I think that the roots of PR will be the same, but that we will be exploring new methods of communication, new ways to brand clients, and new types of interaction. Social media has opened up a whole new facet of PR in the last few years, so I think PR jobs will continue to integrate new advancements in social media
Drivers will come from more of a consumer experience as the media no longer will be publishing magazines or newspapers in print. A challenge this will present is that as more and more citizen journalists emerge, it will become more difficult to understand where reliable information is coming from. Customers will turn directly to the companies for news. Influencers will be brand ambassadors, as well as journalists.
What will social media look like in the future?
More direct connections, fewer “platforms” and more devices enabled to communicate via type, voice and video.
I think it will incorporate more broadcast and location-based elements and will certainly include more direct interaction. The gray area between personal and professional will continue to fade.
Social media will no longer be called social media. It will simply be called communications. Phone calls will reduce drastically as video conferencing, text and online personal news sites (Twitter, FB, LinkedIn) will be primary forms of communication. Also every brand will have an exclusive VIP customer club providing loyal users with deals and discounts, and consumers will need to manage hundreds of programs in which they are enrolled.
What brands that are front and center now will endure and which may fade?
Front and Center: Microsoft, Google, Amazon, eBay, Ford, Coca Cola, Apple. Fade: Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, Barnes and Noble, BestBuy, Kmart
I think that just as Netscape was the shining star at the birth of the Internet and then was displaced and now a distant memory, there is every possibility Facebook will suffer the same fate. Both produced tools -- and we all know that someone else can always build a better, cheaper, newer tool, don’t we?
Google will continue to dominate the world.
Brands who capitalize on innovative public relations and marketing capabilities will definitely endure. Any brand that is not using social media platforms in its day-to-day image will surely fade.
How will the marketing mix change regarding advertising and public relations?
PR will continue to drive strategic communications. Advertising will continue to evolve as more media outlets look for pop up and pay-per-click opportunities.
I think it will continue to become even more integrated and both advertising and PR will shift to start including elements of each other. We already are seeing this in PR with more pay-for-play opportunities popping up.
The ways companies utilize advertising and public relations will be different and focus more on unique interactions with consumers and media while incorporating new trends in social media. I think that any changes to the marketing mix will be positive and allow PR people to do more in a creative aspect.
Advertising will become completely digital and will link to information created by the PR teams. All labels on products will include codes that can be used by smart devices to direct customers to further information such as operating instructions, demonstrations, coupons, contests and even recipes for packaged foods.
Will press releases still be around 25 years from now?
Always. Until the SEC and others allow for different and broader distribution circuits, releases will remain as one of the only full disclosure options available to most companies.
I think some form of a release will still be around. It will just look significantly different as more social media is used by companies to push out news.
PR practitioners will use press releases to really connect different audiences and targets in order to build on a more interactive community between consumers, companies, and the media in a multi-faceted communications relationship.
Yes, every press release will be its own mini website that will last forever on the web.