It’s that time of the year again, when we cast our eyes at the year ahead and try to anticipate what the New Year will hold for us.
We spoke to a range of PR professionals under the age of 30 and asked the “Young Ones” what they feel 2014 holds in store for PR. Digital PR was a common prediction along with the rise of personal branding for journalists, the rise of platform agnostic journalism and integrated PR. PR Professionals also shared that paid media is on the rise in India and that has reduced the space for PR professionals to pitch for stories.
Let’s dive straight in and read their views in detail.
Which aspect of PR will be in big in 2014?
Tarun Bansal M.D., Blue Pigeon Image Management Pvt. Ltd., 26 years, Delhi
“According to me, Digital PR will be in more demand in 2014 as these days more people search via internet to find out the required things about any brand rather than using traditional ways like newspapers, magazines etc. Complete digital marketing which comprises of many things like, digital PR, social media marketing, SEO etc. gives any brand an extensive reach to its target audience.
Neha Mohanty, PR & Communications specialist for AirAsia, 24 years old, Chennai
“Online PR is going to be big in 2014. More companies are becoming aware of the importance of being in the online space. Social Networks, blogs, forums, news search and discussion threads are gaining momentum. A 360 degree approach of online PR along with integration of traditional offline PR would lead to stronger visibility of the brand.”
Nihal Shaikh, PR Manager, Holiday IQ.com, 27 years old, Bengaluru
“Owned Media will be more important. Content marketing and brand journalism will create an eco-system as a pre-cursor to information dissemination. Simply put, people are more likely to be excited about your brand through your blog, Facebook page or YouTube channel than through traditional media. “
Nihal adds that there are also going to be several changes in Journalism
“Journalists are interested in building their personal presence online; they see the value of social media and blogs. They want their stories to go viral too. If you are getting written about, ensure you magnify the coverage you get by sending it to your consumers, blogging about it, tweeting it and do everything you can to get others as excited as you are. Let the journalist know of the visibility you are getting for their story. “
“To a certain extent, journalists are becoming platform agnostic, the same journalist contributes to multiple publications and portals, and are experts on TV shows. Media will become less territorial. Though they are interested in breaking and exclusive news, they will be more collaborative - journalists from different media houses covering the same domain will quote, retweet and credit each other as sources.”
One thing you would like to tell your colleagues/boss about your PR aims in 2014 that they don’t know?
“PR is still considered as the laid back activity of a marketing communication strategy. We would like to tell our fellow colleagues that PR acts as a strong image making tool. A powerful image in the market is more likely to sell than just a mere communication material.”
Preeti Gaur, Executive- Brand Communications, Blue Pigeon Image Management, 23 years, Delhi
“My PR aim is towards the marketing mix. I would like to suggest to my boss with the year ahead to strategise the communication strategies not just with one medium or tool but to opt for a marketing mix method.”
“People in PR are risk takers - they choose to be in an unconventional field.”
What’s the one thing you hate about PR that you would like to see change in 2014?
“Now most of the media houses have changed their working model to a completely paid model which leaves no scope for PR firms to earn space for their clients that affects the business of both clients and agencies. One of the most important changes I would like to see in 2014 is to bring back the PR-Media relation to the traditional model.”
PR is an under-paid industry and there are still misconceptions. Clients see it just as a media relations industry rather than a group strategic communications consultants. I expect that the corporates recognize the value of PR as a powerful business tool. It is hoped that clients realise that PR agencies are strategic partners and not just glorified couriers sending out press releases.”
“PR as a profession is not well recognised in India .The job of a PR professional is very tough but the achievements needs to be proven as the effort is intangible. Sometimes it is presumed that the coverage is natural and no necessary effort has been really taken. The fact that PR people get coverage for free as opposed to advertising may play a vital role in people not being able to recognize the effort. In 2014, I would like to see PR getting recognized as a respectable profession in India.”
“Intelligent media mapping by PR professionals and journalists.“