Affect Releases 2013 Predictions: Public Relations and Social Media
Affect, a public relations and social media firm specializing in technology, healthcare and professional services, today revealed its top six public relations (PR) and social media predictions for 2013. While 2012 was filled with exciting PR and social media developments, including London's 2012 Olympic extravaganza, Prince Harry's Las Vegas scandal and a down-to-the-wire race for the presidency, the coming year is sure to see even further transformations of the media landscape.
1. LinkedIn is the new Facebook. More brands will leverage LinkedIn to monitor conversations and connect with customers and influencers. New and enhanced features on the site, such as its “endorse” capability (which employs the one-click validation of a Facebook “like”) and new profile and company page designs are encouraging users to spend more time building their personal brands with LinkedIn's tools - especially in a difficult job market where millions of people are still looking for work. Companies, particularly those in the B2B arena, increasingly recognize its marketing potential. Finally, as adoption and activity on LinkedIn reach critical mass, journalists will spend more time using the platform for research, identifying sources and breaking stories.
2. Governments (and war) go social. The 2012 election generated record-breaking activity on Twitter, and more recently, the Israel Defense Force (IDF) and Hamas military used the platform to communicate to international government officials and the public about the violent Israeli-Palestinian conflict. As citizens in the U.S. and around the world demand increased transparency from governments, officials at every level from local to national will turn increasingly to social media to stay connected with their constituents. Social media will see an increase of political conversations in 2013, driving its adoption as a news source for citizens, media and the government.
3. The reputable journalist is revived. The rise of blogging and social media has increased the volume of online news and the speed at which it's available - often at the expense of quality reporting. Misinformation and rumors can spread quickly and trigger considerable backlash, especially when a news organization compromises accuracy in the name of speed (as evidenced by CNN and Fox News's memorable misreporting of the Supreme Court ruling on healthcare reform). The citizen journalist's 15 minutes of fame are running out and information-overloaded consumers will demand a higher standard of reporting in 2013.
4. PR goes mobile. PR practitioners have learned to draft compelling email pitch subject lines and deliver a message in 140 characters. The next step will be crafting mobile-friendly content as millions of consumers (and journalists) reach for their phones as their primary news source. The Daily taught us that it's not enough to format a publication with a mobile device in mind; rather, the key will be developing content that effectively reaches the right audience at the right time. Delivery is king - but brevity is still queen.
5. Pictures tell the story. The rise of infographics, photo sharing and visual storytelling will push PR pros and their clients to deploy messages visually in order to compete in a crowded content market. All Things D reported that in August of this year, smartphone users spent more time on Instagram than on Twitter for the first time since Instagram launched in 2010. This is indicative of a broader shift toward visual content in the digital space. As the old saying goes, ‘a picture's worth a thousand words;' more importantly, it might also be worth your customer's attention.
6. PR wins the social media battle. The debate over which corporate discipline ‘owns' social media is practically as old as social media itself; PR, marketing, branding, advertising and customer service all have skin in the game, and that's just to name a few. As more businesses recognize the opportunities (and threats) that social media present to their corporate reputation, and the demand from stakeholders for direct engagement, they are reaching out to PR agencies and practitioners for support. PR pros, who have always been charged with managing the dialogue between an organization and the public, will emerge as trendsetters in the social space by providing valuable communications counsel and achieving results that directly impact clients' bottom lines.
“The public relations industry has always had a responsibility to deliver messages to our clients' audiences, and if the way those audiences consume information changes, then so will we,” said Sandra Fathi, president and founder of Affect. “The media landscape is constantly evolving, and 2013 will bring a new set of changes and challenges for PR pros to navigate; passionate and dedicated professionals will embrace those changes and adapt to deliver the best results for their clients.”
Affect is a public relations and social media firm located in New York. Established in 2002, the company specializes in technology, healthcare and professional services. Affect employs a results-driven approach to communications, crafting one-of-a-kind programs to help clients achieve their business goals. As year-round strategic counsel, or a single project resource, Affect leverages its creative talent, unique experience and forward thinking insights to achieve the precise results that its clients seek. For more information, web: affect.com; blog: techaffect.com; twitter: @teamaffect.
Kelly Davis, 212-398-9680