There has been a social media revolution going on for some time now, but that isn’t to say the revolution is over – in fact, it is really just getting underway. To predict the future of social media, the Internet and technology nowadays is almost unrealistic because of the rate at which it is changing. Leyl Master Black, managing director at Sparkpr, one of the world’s leading independent PR agencies, tries to pinpoint the direction of this revolution. In a Mashable.com article, Leyl offers her top five predictions for the public relations industry in 2011. As a resource for insight into the PR field, she uses her 15 plus years experience driving high-impact communications programs for up and coming technology companies to guide these predictions.
Here is what she believes 2011 will look like:
Prediction # 1
Social sharing of news will be at the forefront of more and more PR strategies. Leyl notes a Forbes.com articles that quotes Dan Greenberg, an entrepreneur, asserting how the Web has evolved from a network of sites to a network of people. She believes news releases will start having more attention-grabbing, controversial or risky headlines to drive social sharing through retweets, Facebook postings and on blogs. More pitches will have a controversial view to spark debate in hopes of attracting media attention. She also notes PR professionals will become aggressive in trying to reach influencers on Twitter for retweets. There will also be more incentives for others to tweet or post to Facebook, in her opinion. Lastly, she notes that there will be more pressure than ever to measure program success using social sharing metrics.
Prediction # 2
Increase in “direct editorial” is something Leyl predicts will remain a trend. The need for content continues to drive this prediction and there’s no clear end to this opportunity. She notes that company execs will have more channels than ever to contribute their leadership pieces, thus driving PR initiatives. She also talks about how corporate blogging will be on the rise because it’s now easier to promote content to specific audiences through the use of social media.
Prediction # 3
Greater demand for exclusives will have increased value to journalists because in an age where breaking news is posted nearly simultaneously, media giants are struggling to differentiate themselves. She believes that this is a benefit to PR practitioners because reporters who secure an exclusive will devote increased time to a comprehensive story that will likely be longer and more insightful than if the news was released to everyone.
Prediction # 4
News organizations will start seeing more podcasts, video interviews and photo collages complement pitches as PR people try to feed the digital media-hungry audience. Many publications are also focusing on creating visually rich content for devices like the iPad. The iPad will be the centerpiece for many publications like The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and USA Today in 2011 and a wealth of opportunity exists in this arena.
Prediction # 5
Data, graphics and apps will become more sophisticated with infographics and visuals to make data stand out. Leyl also believes that there will be more opportunities to use apps to PR professionals’ advantage, like the New York Times article that talked about texting while driving, which paired it with a texting and driving game app. This prediction is all about having that “something” that makes a difference and gets people’s attention. A visually stunning and unique data graphic or an fun app can mean the difference between getting a story published or having it fade away in the sea of forgotten pitches.