PR in 2016

NB Team

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It’s been another belter of a year. Another bruising 12 rounds for the PR industry but we’re still standing and starting to fight our corner. There have been some notable PR campaigns that have continued to demonstrate the creativity, influence and effectiveness of PRs, from Guns with history from States United to Prevent Gun Violence to ridiculously simple ideas like B&Q’s leaked staff memo about the worry of running out of cable ties as Fifty Shades of Grey was released.

For me 2016 is all about the C-word (not what you’re thinking, no not that one either) – not ‘Content’ but ‘Confidence’. In a world where everyone is obsessing about integrated comms, content marketing, engagement and influencers, the PR industry needs to define what it stands for and have the confidence to deliver. My hope is that the identity crisis that has plagued the industry starts to subside and perhaps we’ll see the end of surveys such as the one from PR Week in March saying that 70 per cent of the general public don’t trust the PR industry.

If you look at the predictions for next year you’re left with a number of questions ringing in your ears…

  • Will the press release die?
  • Will measurement finally be cracked?
  • Will content marketing eat PR?
  • Will PR ever have more of a voice at Cannes?
  • Will video completely take over as our primary means of communicating to audiences?

This is symptomatic of the industry, more questions than answers and no common consensus on what will happen in the future. Rather than questions, let’s think about why PRs have every reason to be confident in 2016…

  • The great idea can come from anywhere and PR has as much right to lead big campaigns as our advertising and media buying friends
  • Demand for greater authenticity and transparency from brands will not let up, and PR is the right discipline to deliver on this
  • We have the right people to grab these opportunities: the industry has never had so many diverse skill sets available to it, from media relations and content specialists to creative planners, data analysts and digital and social specialists, who combined can generate memorable campaigns, which deliver genuine business impact

The definition of confidence is ‘the feeling or belief that one can have faith in or rely on someone or something’. I have faith in our industry and belief in my team’s ability to deliver great work next year and beyond.

Am I confident? Yep.