Over the course of the New Economy since 2009, I have witnessed major changes that have occurred in business and the PR industry: major news chains shutting down, journalists now being one-stop-shop positions (doing the interviewing, filming and editing themselves instead of the standard news crews), social media growing like weeds…
The rules have changed. Based on the patterns we’ve been seeing, here are 5 predictions regarding Business PR for 2013.
1. PR Relationships will matter more than ever.
Gone are the days that you could send out a marketing piece and it produced 10 or 20 times its ROI (return on investment). Before 2009 our economy was prone to spending and relationships were not fostered like they are today.
Fast forward: Recession hits. Money is tight. People started being pickier about who they spent their money with.
In 2013, your ability to strike up and nurture lasting key associations will lead to bigger deals, long-term clients and getting your foot in the door where you otherwise could not compete.
Key Influencers, government officials, politicians and peer-to-peer contacts –
one of the biggest ways a PR firm will help you in 2013 will be making you advantageous, lasting introductions
2. PR will come first, then Marketing, then Sales.
PR will be Marketing’s BFF.
With the rise of Digital Media, the number of messages has exponentially increased. This gluts the market. So, campaigns will become more targeted and segmented. In order to get the most mileage out of promotional messages, Public Relations and Marketing will now have to work closely together…like PB&J.
Marketing will no longer be separate, but will follow PR’s lead and direct market to the same target markets that see your company’s press. PR will start out garnering publicity that is geared to back up marketing’s messages.
1st: PR messages will establish credibility by having others tell your story.
2nd: Marketing will follow up with promotions intended to sell.
3rd: Sales will use systematic methods to follow up with leads and use the previous PR to seal the deal.
3. Consistency in PR messages will win out.
You’ve heard fortune favors the bold? Well the companies that are consistent and repetitive in their PR messages, across all communication platforms, will expand faster than their competitors. To win you must be constant.
That means placements in the media stating the same message over and over and over, in numerous ways. Don’t stop (only until it no longer gets results) – this could take years.
4. PR Professionals trained in sales will seal the deals.
Pull-PR won’t do when it will come to getting your clients in the news in a consistent and big way. It works with consumers, but PRs will have to be trained in sales in order to handle the media.
Insistent PR firms that UNDERSTAND the rules of communicating with journalists and apply these relentlessly to maintain good communication lines with the press will get you publicity. Those that don’t, won’t.
PR is not passive.
5. PR firms that can prove analytics will prevail.
The problem in the past has been PR firms not knowing how to do this. I have disagreed with this from the start. PR absolutely contributes to the overall gross income AND can be proven.
I predict the optimal analytics for PR in 2013 will be:
- Number of Profitable Images (increasing) = Volume of media placements, more mentions/likes/shares on social media, increased word-of-mouth, key influencers endorsing you, etc.
- Cost per Lead (decreasing) = As PR beefs up, credibility for the company will ensure and it won’t take as much to attract new customers.
- ROI for marketing dollars (rising) = Marketing and advertising will target the same demographics that are reading, listening and viewing your press. This will back up the PR messages with targeted content and ROI will increase.
- Overall business measured in gross revenues and/or new clients (uptrending) = Because of the goodwill factor that PR creates, word-of-mouth will increase, better employees will apply thereby higher-quality of work will be produced and people will seek out the companies that establish themselves positively in the press over ones they know nothing about.
- Sales cycles closed per unit of time (faster) = The lifetime of sales cycles will shorten for the companies that leverage their press. Trust will be established via media stories before marketing ensues. Sales professionals will use your press to close more quickly and solidly.
Mark my word, fortune will favor the bold in 2013. PR is bold.
Happy New Year!
Karla Jo Helms
JoTo PR CEO