Where PR is Headed

Sounds like a Brian Solis post, doesn’t it? Actually, on Friday afternoon, I had a chance to preside over one of the last panels of the two-day PRSA Digital Impact Conference (#prsa_di) in NYC.

We gathered a fab group of industry practitioners and prognosticators who convened under a session titled “PR 3.0.” (Please forgive.)

In an advance prep call with our presenters, Kami Huyse (@kamichat) smartly suggested that we take a more forward-looking perspective on the industry given that conference attendees, at this late hour, would be totally Twittered and FourSquared out. She was right.

I thus asked the panelists who included Ms. Huyse, Jonathan Kopp (@jonathankopp), lead digital communications strategist for Ketchum, and Clay Hebert (@clayhebert), founder and Chief Engagement Officer of Tribes Win (and a Seth Godin disciple), to top-line the major trends they see affecting our space in the coming years.

Kami set up a shared wiki page to which the four of us posted our thoughts, bios and some useful links. In addition, Eric Schwartzman who, along with Elizabeth Albrycht, helped program the conference’s many panels and keynotes, video-captured our session and posted it: here (RT approx 58 minutes). (Eric infiorms me the link died.)

Here are the more salient points I culled from Friday’s conversation on the trends potentially impacting the conduct of public relations:

  • Facebook’s Open Graph and the propagation (and eventual ubiquity) of the social network’s “Like” button for accelerating the spread of “trusted” news and info.
  • The eventual democratization of the communications function within (and outside) an enterprise, and the cultural shift required across all departments for this to occur, i.e., “conductor versus producer.”
  • The growth of mobile and location-based channels and services as the dominant e-commerce platform and sales driver, respectively.
  • The importance and value to our clients of visual (and creative) story-telling, e.g., less text, more multimedia, to engage audiences.
  • The realignment of media relations wherein individuals, versus organizations, have the ability to create a viral story meme.