So Josh beat me to the punch on his crystal ball for 2018 and while I share most of his sentiments please allow me to take a more global view of the public relations industry as we begin 2018.
The last two years has seen us drink water from a fire hose as we learned how to marry media relations, social media, content marketing, brand journalism and all their associated measurements. We have come through the other end well positioned to bring a strategic eye to these disciplines to maximize clients’ budgets and help them achieve their goals.
What has emerged on this other side is a clear understanding of how to make a client a “marketing hero” using all these tools to drive awareness, traffic, sales leads for his or her organization.
Public Relations and its practitioners are positioned better than ever to be the “first stop” for clients who know they need to solve their problems but don’t know how. Our increasing use and reliance on research as a first step to solve those problems allows us to deliver a plan that includes all the disciplines in a smart, cost-effective way.
We then count on a growing number of specialists both within our agencies and in our network to deliver on the mix of traditional and social ads, varied content creation, influencer and media outreach, and strategic counsel to do our very best for our clients.
The last two years have forced us (both at THP and in the industry) to learn more, stretch out of our comfort zones, and experiment more than I can ever remember.
We still have a lot to learn but my sense is we will be living in this space for a while. There will always be curveballs (thanks, Zuckerberg) but the word of earned, owned and paid media isn’t going away.
Our focus is to get better at it and in turn make our clients better for it.