My Three Cents

2015 is shaping up to be a defining year for the PR and marketing industries. In the first quarter alone, we’ve seen new giants emerge across social media and the tech spaces alone. And with communications-based technology evolving at breakneck speeds, we’re almost certain to see a few more game changers in the calendar year.

The emergence of these new platforms is as inevitable as it is unpredictable. However, we’ve identified a few trends you can expect to see play out through the remainder of the year- regardless of whatever else is thrown into the mix.

Visual Isn’t Just Nice; It’s Necessary. A recent study by the Federal Government suggests that up to 83% of human learning occurs visually. Content showcasing images (including infographics and video) can connect emotionally and therefore more powerfully with viewers, so it’s not surprising that more than half (51%) of communications professionals report that their video budgets are on the rise.

Mobile’s Even Hotter. Today, 65% of US smartphone users check their phones within 15 minutes of rising and 64% check their phones within 15 minutes of going to bed. Eighty-seven percent of millennials always have their smartphone at their side, day and night. Mobile commerce will account for 24.4% of overall ecommerce revenues by the end of 2017.

Waning Respect for Mass Media. Americans’ trust in mass media (i.e., newspapers, TV and radio) is at an all-time low of 40%, according to Gallup Poll. As people grow disenchanted with “mainstream” news, they are cobbling together their own personal channels of information.

Making Peace with Info Overload. Rather than being swamped by the information tsunami enabled by the internet, a new survey by the Pew Research Center finds that the vast majority of Americans believe their use of the web “helps them learn new things, stay better informed on topics that matter to them, and increases their capacity to share ideas and creations with others.”

Metrics Remain Problematic. Spending on social media continues to soar, but measuring its impact remains a challenge for most companies. Only 15% of marketers report they have been able to prove, quantitatively, the impact of social initiatives.

Modest, but Steady Growth. Employment of public relations specialists is projected to grow 12 percent from 2012 to 2022 – about as fast as the average for all occupations. Because many college graduates apply for the limited amount of public relations positions each year, candidates can expect strong competition for jobs.

Optimistic about the economy. CMOs report their most positive outlook since the 2009 recession. On a scale where 0 is least optimistic and 100 is most optimistic, current reports are 69.9 compared to February 2009 levels of 47.7 – a 46% increase.

So what does this all mean for marketers and PR professionals? In short, we need to take these trends and changes into account and be ready to be nimble with our plans. We’ll need to be quick, agile and ready to turn everything around on a dime. But for an industry built on having an ear to the ground and a nose to the grindstone, it’s just another day at the office.

thought leadership



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