In 2009, the public relations industry had to change and adapt to meet the growing needs of companies and organizations in the midst of one of the worst recessions in the country’s history. In the next year, our profession will continue to evolve. These changes directly impact those seeking a career in the profession. Here are some trends to look out for in 2010:
The economic implications of recovery
Though there seem to be signs of economic recovery, many public relations firm executives have made it clear that they will not immediately fill positions cut during the recession. This means several things for graduates and young professionals. First, it means a post-graduate internship is almost essential to work in an agency. Second, graduates will get more freelance and temporary work on a by-project basis instead of full-time offers.
Start, stop and continue
PRSSA National President Rebecca Timms has been guiding the Society this year on these three principles, and they seem to be a fitting description of what will happen next year. In 2010, expect to see the start of digital programs; stoppage of traditional and, often, expensive programs; and continuous reinvention of ways to tell the brand’s story. Take Pepsi as an example for this one: The company pulled its Super Bowl ads and instead is spending the money on a digital program promoting Pepsi and the story of its brand.
Mainstream media continues to change
The mainstream media’s downward spiral will begin to plateau. To counteract their decreasing revenue, and in reaction to their growing frustration with Google, many publications will charge for online content. Instead of one huge audience consuming mass amounts of information from many sources, people will pick and choose what they consume. Also, expect the mainstream media to continue to use social media in addition to the traditional channels. These factors will continue to impact the public relations industry.
Public relations as a business function
Though this is not unique to 2010, practitioners will continue to seek ways to measure their work and earn credibility with executives. PRSA launched the Business Case for Public Relations in 2009, and its principles - particularly measurement – will be discussed and debated. With public relations taking the lead in social media, our profession also needs to make this function measurable and strategic. Research and analysis of public relations efforts will still be essential to planning, but because of the constant flow of information, research will become more critical in successfully executing a program.
Are the trends in 2010 much different from years past? Are these the only things to look out for in 2010? Add your comments below to continue this discussion.