Monday, October 03, 2011

My five year prediction for the PR industry


The next five years
80% of PR revenues will be through digital interfaces.
Relationship based practice (every ‘like’ is a relationship building block).
PR industry will be a major economic driver in the (the internet economy)
The range of digital interfaces will explode and interaction between things and people (with their associated apps) will become a new form of “Internet of Things” communication and engagement.
Digitally evolving modes of communication such as body language, touch language,  direct brain interfaces based on electroencephalography (EEG) technology, etc.
A new range of communication via smart phones apps (and other platforms) or services like  Pachube deliver Internet of Things capability and is opening up for PR to engage.
Avatars and Internet of Things devices are going to be included in social segments/segmentation.
Social Network societies with personal as well as new ‘tribal’ groups
Media evolution planning as part of campaign/relationship planning (the media will have changed by the time the campaign kicks in)
Semantic concepts (aka values) used for individual, personal and tribal group segmentation
Corporate ontology’s as part of brand value, reputation and relationship management with semantic intelligence and competitive evaluation
Radical Transparency
Noticeable structural change in the nature of organisations.
The value of the Internet
GDP of Europe was EUR 11,791, 000 million in 2009. The euro area accounted for 76.0 % of this total, while the sum of the five largest EU economies (Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Italy and Spain) was 71.6 % (Source: Eurostat)
In 2010 the internet  economy represented 7.2 percent of UK. GDP (sources : Google/BCG).
This GDP share is likely to grow by about 10 percent annually, reaching 10 percent of GDP by 2015
By extrapolation, it is not unreasonable to assume the internet economy represents 7.2% of the European Economy or about EUR 848,963 million (800, billion)
And it will be worth EUR 1,200,000 million in three years time.
The United Kingdom exports £2.8 in e-commerce goods and services for every £1 imported – Digital exports to Europe could be very high
Change of Internet and its use
Internet use will be up by a factor of 3 in 5 years
U.K. smartphone adoption growing 70 percent to more than 11 million subscribers this year.
37 per cent of adults and 60 per cent of teens are ‘highly addicted
Almost half of Internet users connected to the Internet, using a mobile phone, while away from the home or office. 
There were 17.6 million mobile phone Internet users in 2011, representing 45 per cent of Internet users, compared to 8.5 million users (23 per cent) in 2009.
 UK internet population spent 3.4 billion hours online during August 2011
32.5million UK people are collectively watching over 5 billion online videos every month (17 hours per person per month).
UK online retail will hit €40 billion by 2014 onlineshoppers will increase from 31 million to 40 million. Since the start of 2011 online retail has grown 18% (to October 2011)
Online charitable giving has risen by 85% in the past three years 
Britons spend 43m hours gaming every day, with consoles accounting for 21 per cent of that figure. Social networks claim 18 per cent and casual games 17 per cent.
Using the Internet to sell goods or services, for example via auction sites such as eBay, saw large growth in 2011.
There is no doubt that this is a major opportunity for people active in the sector.
What needs to be done
Recognise the contribution of the internet (£100bn  250k employment in 2010)
Doubling the broadband internet access speeds for an economy can increase its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 0.3%
Development of internet based businesses
Investment in research and teaching
The PR industry’s need to do more digital work
 The value of the PR  industry in the UK is £7.5bn (Source: PRCA)
If all PR was online PR, the PR industry would represent  7.5% of UK internet business
However, 30 percent of communications professionals work at firms devoted to social media rather than traditional media. (source: Bizbox)
The PR industry executed 2.25% of the UK internet business. That is a start which can now be developed.
PR people contribute £122,000 per year to their industry (GDP).
Internet employees contribute £ 400,000 per year to their industry (GDP).
If the digital contribution from the  PR industry was 100% of its activity, at internet industry productivity rates, the PR industry would be worth £24.6 billion.
Where is the PR industry focussing its future efforts
According to the ICCO, demand for digital services rose internationally in 2010. As a percentage of overall fee income for public relations consultancies, these services remained relatively small (ranging from 5 to 20 percent) but showed an increase over 2009.
A survey by Stevens Gould Pincus, suggests the use of social media for public relations and public affairs purposes jumped 15 percent from 2009 to 2010.
30 percent of communications professionals work at firms devoted to social media rather than traditional media.
At this rate,  the digital/social media element of the PR industry will represent £180 billion by 2016 all by itself (over 2.5 times the rest of PR industry earnings).
The industry would increase employment  to 467,000 (to be competitive with the rest of the internet industries) in five years.
How the PR industry will develop
The development of internet mediated PR may be by the existing industry or by an emerging industry of specialists.
It will be involved in a form of PR whether the industry likes it of not.
The successful development will need to be competitive with other internet sectors (e.g. input £400k to the sector each person/year)
The development will be on a wide front because the range of communications technologies, platforms and channels will be so diverse and will be integrated for optimum effect.
W3C is talking PR
Already W3C is talking the PR language:

“The role of vocabularies (
Ontologies) on the Semantic Web are to help data integration when, for example, ambiguities may exist on the terms used in the different data sets, or when a bit of extra knowledge may lead to the discovery of new relationships. “
An introduction to methodologies
In planning PR activity, there will need to be elements that take account of:
The values systems and brand values of client and consumer
Different forms of segmentation from stakeholder theory to new ideas in the field
Channels that are evolving/changing or will be new at time of execution
New social frames/constructs
Development of protocols that will deliver an annual return on costs
The return per day (allowing for holidays and weekends)  has to be of the order of £2000 per day per employee
This will require a significant element of  cost management, training and automation to deliver significant effect for optimal effort (and a 3.2 fold increase in productivity).
Where the new productivity comes from ?
Undergraduate education has to be much broader and must include an understanding of the technologies five years hence to leaven PR practice and give them a flying start
There are still schools teaching undergraduates how to write a ‘good press release’ but not the need for styles to deliver an effective blog post, Facebook messages or email.
University research has to inform teachers and practitioners about the digital era
The realms of research will extend into may other academic areas
there is every good scientific reason to believe that the internet is as much part of human evolution as speech.  We love it!
Research will be needed to inform practice as well as academia and PR teachers.
There is a deep need to be aware of the need for productivity throughout the industry.