Marketing and PR predictions aren’t merely forecasts, but often a reflection of our aspirations and perhaps advice – mistakes we’ve made we’d like to help others avoid
“Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia: dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts, and recycling it for more than it’s worth.”
~ Baz Luhrmann, The Sunscreen Song, 1998
That’s one of my favorite quotes and I think of it every time prediction season comes around. This is because predictions, in my view, aren’t merely forecasts, but often a reflection of our aspirations and perhaps advice – mistakes we’ve made we’d like to help others avoid.
To that end, this year’s roundup is uh-mazing. There are so many thoughtful contributions – from people working on both the in-house and agency sides.
And, given the vast amount of time I pour into writing about PR technology, I’m really pleased with the long list of contributions from the PR technology vendor community. Thank you.
There is no order of merit, these predictions are listed by the order in which they were received. My own predictions are listed at the very bottom.
1. Pay to play, content grows; influencer marketing cools.
“I see a few things.
a) Many community newspapers going away and hopefully still being available in some kind of online format. b) More pay-to-play opportunities to participate in national media relations opportunities. c) More companies create their own content and channels to reach audiences instead of traditional media channels. d) Influencer marketing to cool off as far as the amounts of money companies are paying influencers.”
~ Jason Brown, Founder/Principal, PublicCity PR
2. AI-written content adds more noise
“PR and communications pros will be leaning way more heavily on AI-powered content development tools in 2023. These won’t be used for major bylines, important press releases, and other critical missives where every word counts. Rather, AI will be used to create a lot of filler and SEO bait. This will contribute to even more noise, and it will make high-quality corporate content both more appreciated and harder to find.”
~ David Berkowitz, Founder, Serial Marketers
3. Prediction, hope and a billion-dollar idea
“Part prediction, part hope, and part billion-dollar idea: 2023 may (will?) be the year that some SaaS vendor figures out how to manage and market B2B influencer marketing at scale.
There are several platforms out there to simplify and manage B2C influencer marketing, such as Paladin, Heepsy, HypeAuditor, and InBeat. They enable consumer brand marketers to connect with influencers who have large followings on Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube, in a straightforward transactional manner. But B2B influencer marketing works completely differently. No one has really cracked that code yet.
Onalytica is probably the closest, but the site is unfocused: when you can search for anything from animation to zoology, that doesn’t give B2B marketers or PR professionals confidence about deep B2B influencer marketing expertise. The tool and pricing are also clearly aimed at the enterprise level, not generally practical for small to midsized SMB vendors. It may or may not happen in 2023 but someone is going to figure out to make this work before long.”
~ Tom Pick, Digital Marketing Consultant, Webbiquity LLC
4. PR has a bigger role in content
“I predict brands will look to the PESO model (which stands for paid, earned, shared and owned media) to make more of their owned media. As companies continue to produce more content but find it harder to get their audiences to consume it, I see earned media (PR) as a way to get more attention for that owned media. Brands will look to public relations professionals to help them not only write compelling content but also place it in industry trade publications and other media outlets that may be a fit. Once coverage appears, it can then be shared via social media and clients can also leverage paid media to boost it even further if they choose.”
~ Michelle Garrett, Public Relations Consultant and Writer, Garrett Public Relations
5. More show and less tell
“Purpose- and mission-driven communication strategies will continue to dominate the industry, but it will be less about ‘tell’ and more about ‘show.’ The organizations who take their ESG, DEI, and social impact strategies seriously will be the ones who are unafraid to show their progress, no matter how big or small it may be, with a combination of visual and written storytelling.
The challenge for marketing and PR pros will be to focus on an organization’s journey ‘the progress made to-date and the winding road ahead” not just the destination. This type of authentic, transparent storytelling will likely help organizations standout from their competitors, win over customers and investors, and keep regulators in good graces.”
~ Jon Amar, Director of PR and Communications, Matter Unlimited
6. A great data divide
“Data and the use of data will become the great divide between marketers producing content and content marketing. Those companies that can take data, do a deep dive, and understand what the data tells them will see more success in achieving their goals from content than those who look at simple analytics. I also believe savvy content marketers are going to pay more attention to distribution – the who and how of content consumption.”
~ Clay Morgan, Writer and Consultant, Morgan Media, Inc.
7. Interest in a partner ecosystem grows
“2023 is the year to focus on your partnership model as a new growth driver for your business. With traditional marketing channels being oversaturated, those that realize that partners have the ability to impact the entire customer journey will succeed. Growing your partner channels can help create untapped demand, assist in the discovery process, as well as nurture the post-sale journey with ongoing education and services. I encourage you to start thinking about how you can build up your ecosystem and bring your partners in close to help insulate your customer revenue streams.”
~ Cori Webb, Marketing Director, ChurnZero
8. Wider AI adoption in PR
“Most recently we’ve seen a shift in the sentiment towards the use of AI particularly within the public relations sector. A few years ago, many PRos were afraid these tools would be ‘taking their jobs away’ and were hesitant to trust the application let alone the ability of an artificially intelligent machine. Next year, the application of AI will be more widely adopted by a larger pool of PRos and will further expand its use into content generation and recommendations, reporting and analytics, and real-time feedback for the end user.”
~ Jered Martin, Co-Founder & Chief Operations Officer, OnePitch
9. Internal comms takes center comms stage in hybrid work
“With the new dynamics of hybrid work established worldwide, Public Relations – as a professional who builds and consolidates relationships – becomes an even more strategic professional regarding the internal audience. Communication channels and actions must be increasingly fluid, agile, and complete, with interesting and objective narratives that engage and awaken the interaction and commitment of employees with the company, and between different areas. Regular dissemination of good communication, meeting and texting practices is also necessary. There is a new corporate scenario that directly impacts all audiences and communication channels. And Public Relations is the professional who has all the technical skills for the new organizational challenges.”
~ Luciana Lima, Head of PR, Reserve Parks
10. Smart marketers pour some digital ad spend into PR
“Performance marketing and digital ad spending will continue to become less effective as consumer brands continue to fight for the same broad audiences. Brands are going to realize that reallocating a nominal amount from their failing digital ad spends to amplify an existing PR program will bring exponential growth in earned media. The smartest brands will then use their earned media coverage more frequently across their media channels. It will be a new era for brands to realize the value that comes from PR. Remember, people don’t brag about their ad spends, but they do showcase their media hits.”
~ Bill Byrne, Managing Director, Remedy Public Relations
11. CISOs turn to comms pros for comms help
“Global disruption is going to place a priority on internal and external messaging development around cyber-attacks. In-house and agency teams will be hard at work supporting Chief Information Security Officers (CISO) with messaging that convinces their leadership colleagues and board of directors that preparing for cyber-attacks is critical. Additionally, it’s likely that CISOs are going to feel more pressure to communicate effectively security steps that organization-wide, staff need to take to protect the organization and their own data.”
~ Justin Goldstein, President & Founder, Press Record Communications
12. Single source of truth
“With more content being created than ever before, companies will have to ensure their ‘one source of truth’ is always present, no what story they tell. We’ll see more companies hire copywriters to ensure narratives remain consistent.”
~ Brad Marley, Yelram Media Chief Storyteller, Yelram Media
13. Relentless focus on the customer
“While my 2022 prediction about the move away from social media may have been a bit premature, as social media fragmentation continues and the instability of Twitter deepens, communicators will have to renew their focus on truly targeted communications both in terms of messages and channels. Communicators and marketers today continue to spend far too much time (and money) blasting mass-marketed messages across every channel, essentially leaving their brands blowing in the wind. Bringing the focus and time back to spending time on what and who matters will deliver far bigger and better results. Remember who is buying and why and find a way to reach them where they are ‘either online or down the street’ with a proposition they can’t resist.”
~ Wendy Zajack, Faculty Director, IMC & DMC at Georgetown University
14. Marketing turns to creative to stand out from the clutter
“The internet created an obsession among marketers for measurement, but it overcorrected over the last 10 years or so. The pendulum has swung too far and at the expense of creativity in marketing. I’m not the first to proclaim that much of the marketing in the B2B technology landscape largely says the same things, in similar ways, and prospects and customers can’t discern the difference. That’s all going to change in next year because creative work is the essence of differentiation and a key driver of revenue and profit. Marketing leaders will get back in touch with their creative roots in 2023.”
~ Russ Somers, CMO Lytho
15. Strengthening community-building and connections
In 2023, organizations will create and strengthen their branded online communities. With hybrid workforces and a deluge of virtual meetings, people crave communities and real connections. That’s the reason consumers and professionals are turning to online communities. Online communities are the trusted source for industry news, peer reviews of products and innovations, plus brand advocacy. Benefits include authentic sharing of opinions and ideas, as well as networking and professional development. Online communities deepen connections and build relationships with customers and prospects that impact product development, customer service, and marketing strategies.”
~ Grace Platon, Communications Strategist, Communicate Grace, LLC
16. PR adopts AI as a research and content tool
“Given the explosion of interest in ChatGPT, it seems 2023 will be the year that PR teams adopt AI as a research and content tool. There are ethical and practical issues around it, but it’s a breakthrough that’s all the more impressive given the expectation of an improved, next-gen model next year.
And there will be other innovations – new social platforms emerging, from Gen-Z favorites like BeReal to Twitter-killers like Mastodon or Post.com.
Finally, I see a more predictable talent recruitment market and opportunities for PR and marketing to work together to win customer trust through creative programming as the sunsetting of third-party cookies inevitably draws closer, despite delays.
~ Dorothy Crenshaw, CEO, Crenshaw Communications
17. More inclusive, diverse, better, and sustainable workplace
“In the post-pandemic world, businesses and livelihoods have undergone a paradigm shift. This has necessitated businesses to be more disruptive and innovative in their practice, with the emphasis on an inclusive, diverse, better, and sustainable workplace experience. Social media has not only doubled but is increasingly being harnessed for direct marketing and after-sales servicing. It is also serving as the pulse to the customer base through influencer e-commerce and mobile apps-based digital transformation.
This is even more pertinent in the context of the current leadership deficit in both businesses and governance globally. The PR and Marketing worlds have been quick to adapt to the Communication challenges on these platforms, the focus being on one-to-one, personalized communication efforts.
Experiential marketing targeting a diverse customer base has become hugely appropriate and meaningful.
Data and metrics have emerged as the most powerful tools for creating better brand awareness, social media engagement and quality web traffic. They have also proven crucial in measuring the efficacy of PR campaigns and customizing them. So welcome to the world of PR & Marketing on social media which is here to stay!
~ Prof. Maya Chakravarti V, PR Practitioner & Educationist, IKON PR
18. Comms investments for long-term growth
“With the likely economic downturn in 2023, communicators will be under renewed and increased pressure to demonstrate value and prove their impact on company goals. Those that have chosen to invest in quality data and analytics will rise to the occasion, and their teams and budgets will largely remain intact – and in some cases grow (since dollar-for-dollar, comms is often more impactful than marketing).
Continued financial pressures on media companies will mean fewer journalists and less opportunity for companies to get their message out. As a result, owned media and social media will continue to grow in importance for chief communications officers (CCOs). Building analytics to optimize those efforts will become as important as it is for earned media.
Employee communication will continue to be a major focus for many CCOs. While labor market pressures will ease somewhat, the demand for quality talent will not go away.
Attraction of new talent and retention of existing talent will continue to require significant CCO attention. Data-driven strategy will increase in importance for employee communications. Lastly, as the economic downturn progresses, CCOs that invest in brand-building throughout the downturn will be the ones that position their companies for outsized growth as the economy returns.”
~ Eric Koefoot, President & CEO, PublicRelay, Inc.
19. Introducing the Chief Metaverse Experience Officer
“AR… VR… PR? Yes.
The explosion of the metaverse is undeniable, and high-utility applications for marketing and public relations are finally materializing at breakneck speed. As brands find their footing in these brave new worlds, PRs will have new channels for shaping stories that engage audiences, drive purchases, and enhance loyalty.
My prediction for 2023: the metaverse will be more mainstream, and every brand will need to be executing on its strategy. High-utility applications will drive greater adoption, but the rise of new form factors like Snap’s Spectacles and other AR/VR applications will accelerate the omnichannel reach for marketing and PR content.
We’ll also see the metaverse become a fixture across integrated marketing and PR programs, from product launches to product placement. In fact, the Mayor of the City of Orlando just gave a speech to his constituents in a virtual space – proving that even public sector organizations are finding new ways to engage communities in these shared environments.
If the metaverse is the next evolution of the internet, it will require a new breed of cloud-powered services that allow brands to create and scale their own multiverses. As Meta (Facebook) languishes, new platforms are emerging to meet the opportunities ahead.
Recession aside, expect to see more spending to acquire these innovative tools, and the rise of organizational roles leading these initiatives (think “Chief Metaverse Experience Officer”). Finally, in the melee, PR professionals (or pros) will need to learn the new language of the metaverse. We need to be viewing consumers as “players” and the customer experience as a game – not just a transaction. The good news? Games are generally fun.
~ Matt Garrepy, Chief Digital Officer, Solodev Cloud Services
20. Investor relations and public relations align around ESG
“Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) matters will continue to be a priority for both public and private companies – we’ll continue to see emphasis on these narratives and storytelling – from press releases to earnings calls to broader investor relations programs.
To be effective, there will need to be closer collaboration between all communicators including PR and IR teams, as PR pros are now tasked with building strategies and content that help business leaders articulate their corporate purpose, and to make sure that’s resonating across every channel.
Further, IR and PR teams must also cooperate to ensure that these narratives are true to their brand and aligned with disclosure requirements around ESG, including Scope 3. As a result, in 2023, we’ll see brands explore non-traditional ways to authentically communicate their purpose and commitment to ESG – and infuse this messaging into their overarching strategy, which could include dedicated social media content, executive thought leadership that focuses on mission-driven storytelling, and the use of owned media beyond an IR website.”
~ Sylvie Harton, SVP, Global Head of Strategy, Public Relations and Investor Relations, Notified
21. Earned media will continue to increase in value
“There has been a shift in marketing strategy over the past decade, with teams utilizing data to target and track the impact of their campaigns. However, growth in global ad spend is expected to slow to about 5.9% next year, down from 6.4% estimated in June. This, coupled with consumer’s savviness to marketing tactics, the death of the cookie, and privacy concerns, earned media and PR are becoming essential to a CMOs toolkit and business success.
CMOs will place a larger focus on redirecting resources from paid to earned, which is more effective and credible. However, technology that shares the same language between a CMO and CCO will become even more essential, which is why at Muck Rack we’re focused on ensuring our measurement dashboards include the relationship metrics that CMOs are used to having in their marketing stack.”
~ Greg Galant, CEO and cofounder, Muck Rack
22. Fragmenting along the lines of trust
“Given the low trust in the media and ever-evolving social media platforms (and the introduction of new ones), we will see a sharper rise in audience fragmentation than in previous years. This fragmentation will affect PR, marketing and advertising pros as we try to keep up with changing attitudes and trends to get our messaging through to the right people.”
~ Tressa Robbins, Customer Onboarding VP/Content & Social Media Manager, Burrelles
23. Moment-intensive personalization
“Wallet passes will sit at the center of loyalty programs. Traditional methods of delivering a message and an offer to a consumer (email/text) will be replaced with very moment-intensive and highly personalized communication through a consumer’s wallet pass. Rather than offering 15% off an online purchase, customers will receive a notification through their loyalty pass (wallet pass) that they can receive double brand points for purchasing items from the store where they are currently shopping. Companies like BambuMeta are making this possible through web3 orchestration and bridging web2 and web3.”
~ Mike Herder, Managing Partner, Big Ogre Advisory
24. A wish for marketing and PR next year
“My contribution is less of a prediction and more of a hope/wish for marketing and PR pros next year. A few things:
- A deeper commitment to integrated communications. There is ongoing turmoil in the media industry and with social networks. If your marketing/comms program don’t include elements of paid, earned, shared and owned as often as possible, you’re doing a disservice to your company or clients.
- This is basic but getting back to basics can be a good thing! I hope to see more committing to quality vs. quantity in all our efforts in 2023. Let’s not post new blog content 4x a month if that frequency isn’t working anymore. What about refreshing/updating content that consistently sends organic traffic to your website but is a year or two old? Same with social media – does it really make sense to post daily on every social channel? Look closely at your data and adjust content frequency accordingly. Work smarter – not harder!
- Supporting next-gen talent. Beyond internships or mentoring, it’s critical that we figure out how to support students coming out of college so they’re well-prepared to be the integrated comms pros we want/need in our industry. This may look different at each company/agency, but one example is at Franco, we sponsored a group of PR students at a Michigan university to complete the PESO Model certification.”
~ Nikki Little, Senior Vice President, Franco
25. Seeking out new channels
“As the cost vs. effectiveness, the transparency and the capability to protect brands on social media are more and more challenged, PR will leverage more on owned media for one part, and on new channels on the other.
Managing owned media effectively in the end is a matter of quality content, the ability to produce something relevant, original and recognizable so that it is easily disseminated, and it reverberates around the board.
‘New’ media are those that have been spawned by the clash of traditional and digital media tectonic plates. Podcasts are a signpost, where the ads spend is far below the audience size and the effectiveness level. So that there will be a lot of land grabbing in that domain, which needs to be followed closely.”
~ Alessandro Cederle, Business Development, Europe, TVEyes
26. Local news and indy journalism more trusted
“I predict the continued rise in readership of local news channels and independent journalism. Consumers will increasingly turn to sources they can trust. Independent news channels, blogs and podcasts will rise in readership/listenership. Social listening and analysis of news coverage on these sources will become more important to brands as they carry more weight in the trust barometer.”
~ Susan Aitkin, Director, Global Partnerships and Partner Marketing, TVEyes
27. Integration of earned, shared, and owned media (finally?)
“As the year begins to wind down, I have more and more conversations with marketing and communications professionals who want to understand how to use the PESO Model to fill out the work they do every day.
Many are using some combination of earned, shared, and owned, but they don’t know how to integrate all four media types, so they complement their skills and their expertise, while providing measurable results. So, my prediction for 2023 is more of the industry will use the framework to prove the work we do is an investment, not an expense.
~ Gini Dietrich, Founder and author, Spin Sucks
28. A return to the human connection
“Today, the world of communications has a problem: It’s more difficult than ever to get the attention of people. In a deeply tech-connected world, the noise comes in red dots, push notifications, video calls. But those bots miss the core of communication: the human connection.
That’s why we see success in 2023 being less tech, more touch. Your technology should be an enabler to spending less time on screens and more time building key relationships. 2023 will be successful for communications teams who bring their creativity back online by unplugging more.”
~ Jan-Willem Schalkwijk, CEO, Presspage
29. Disclosure of AI use in content generation
“PR and marketing industry leaders will begin to call for content creators to disclose whenever they use AI to assist in generating prose. The commercial concern stoked by OpenAI/ChatGPT’s impressive but flawed outputs will also lead to a less theoretical ethical discussion about AI’s application to other forms of content, namely video.”
~ Ian Lipner, Senior Vice President, Firebrand Communications
30. It all adds up to more content
“Companies are going to want more content. Not an earth-shattering prediction but a reality. Almost every startup struggles to meet demand from corporate marketing, demand gen, product marketing, and sales. As we often say, ‘everyone can write, but only a few people can write.’
Those with in-house content teams are swamped, and the freelancer who understands your business is at capacity. Buy-cycles are going to take longer due to the economic conditions; you’ll need more touch points, to address more objections to sale, and to reach more personas.
It all adds up to more content. The bots won’t fill that gap.”
~ Morgan McLintic, CEO, Firebrand Communications
31. A new tech-world order
“Deeper global talent pool. The pandemic taught us many things, and one learning which reimagined the traditional working environment, is that remote working is here to stay. Once considered ‘flexible working’ the world’s workforce was forced to ‘WFH’ in the early days of 2020, allowing teams to expand across borders and time zones, where only the fittest talent survived. Agencies and organizations today have the benefit of scouring the world for the talent best suited to a vacant position, rather than sourcing from the pool in their local backyard. Similarly with talent being more selective about the organizations they work for; businesses must be at the forefront of employee needs and engagement in order to attract and retain stand out people.”
Moving from complexity to simplicity. Historically, data literacy has been positioned as complex, challenging, and at times confronting for those working in the communication industry. As high data literacy levels become the expectation and the norm, complexity and verbosity of data will be replaced with clarity and simplified messaging. Translating complex data into meaningful findings is at the core of the communications and PR craft, and the strength of concise and accurate reporting over word count and convolution will be critical.
Behind every smart PR is smart tech. Digitization and innovation remain at the forefront of many business strategies today to drive business efficiencies and performance, and technology will continue to play a critical role in enabling communication professionals to make smart decisions, sooner. As AI advances, predictive data is helping practitioners to not only track trends, but sophisticated software can determine how a major multi-channel media story is expected to play out, where it will play out, and when the peak of the heat will be. Embracing smart PR tech and being able to analyze media sentiment and social media conversations only provides a competitive advantage.”
~ John Croll, CEO & Co-Founder, Truescope
32. PR will reinvigorate old practices
“With the media landscape continuing to shift and volatility driving the social media landscape, PR will reinvigorate old practices, such as media tours and events to engage audiences. I believe we will also see more of a blurring of the lines between PR, marketing and creators as all disciplines work to deliver bottom line results in 2023.”
~ Karen Swim, APR, Founder, Words For Hire
33. Seeing around corners
“AI and predictive analytics will dominate product roadmaps for technology companies in the service of strategic communicators and marketers. From content development and brand management (or ‘reputation management’), to audience targeting and data analytics, innovations in natural language processing will lead to the next generation of tools for the industry.
Being able to see around the corner – and not just react to changes in the market or stakeholder conversations – will be essential for brands in 2023. And those who respect and value the complimentary role that people could and should play will win. Technology without the human ability to detect nuance and provide context will often result in failure.”
~ Jay Webster Chief Product & Technology Officer, Cision
34. A reset on advertising spend
“I believe we’re going to see a reset on advertising strategies and the use of the major platforms in terms of where spend goes. This is primarily a byproduct of two things:
a) bot farms are polluting results and driving up costs; and
b) the general rebalancing of reduced spend in the wake of a recession across the various channels.”
~ Craig Dekshenieks, Director of Digital Marketing, Syncron
35. AI writes the editorial calendars
“In 2023, artificial intelligence (AI) will fundamentally transform the way we communicate. AI-enhanced writing platforms like Grammerly and Wordtune seem dated in comparison to ChatGPT, which generates high-quality written materials quickly and accurately. Look for the quirky trial phase of December 2022 to move to editorial calendars in early 2023.”
~ Molly McPherson, APR, Public Relations and Crisis Manager, Molly + Co.
36. Year of employer branding
“This will be the year of employer branding. In a tight job market and one where employees want more than just a paycheck, being viewed as an employer of choice, having a well-defined purpose (beyond making widgets) and ‘living’ a set of core values as a company will be essential. All that will have to be backed up with a robust and dynamic internal communications program that connects with employees where they are and engages them in the greater ‘why’ of an organization.”
~ Hinda Mitchell, President and Founder, Inspire PR Group
37. Shift to recession mode
“Marketing and PR will possibly have to shift in recession mode. So, what does this mean? Companies will need to forget about the ‘cherry on top’ and focus solely on proven high ROI investments. Related to this: trends that have been accelerated through the pandemic (notable, in B2B, the continued digitalization of the buyer journey) will continue to have an important impact on what investments in promotions make most sense.
~ Jo Detavernier, Principal, Detavernier Strategic Communication
38. Finding relevance amid the noise and negativity
“Politics and polarization will continue to dominate news as we get closer to the next presidential election. It will be a contentious time with dark headlines about war and other kinds of conflict. People will turn to the media for solace and key information.
In this landscape, the bright and silly stories will jump out as welcome relief. Tech will also dominate the headlines – with negative stories about big tech influence, and positive ones about the potential of tech to transform lives and work. Game changers like AI (think chatGPT) and the Metaverse will continue to fascinate – and may start to play larger roles in our lives and work.
Success will mean finding relevance and ways to stand out without getting caught in the bad news fray. Product and company news may take a back seat to thought leadership in various forms, especially commentary about big news stories. Watch for the rise of new channels amidst a potential decline in Twitter. Embrace change and try to stay positive.”
~ Bob Geller, President, Fusion PR
39. Content marketers will find new allies in PR
The function of content marketing is understaffed in many organizations – and it’s been that way for years. Content marketers need allies – and they may find them in the corporate communications and PR department.
According to the 483 professional communicators that took the 5th Annual JOTW Strategic Communications Survey, which I co-produce with Ned Lundquist, 60% said their organization is placing more or much more emphasis on owned media like blogs, newsletters and websites.
In fact, owned media was the only area that has a consensus majority among respondents. Shared media (44%) was next, followed by earned media (43%) – the traditional bailiwick of communications — and paid media (33%).
I’ve long argued that PR is the best-kept secret in content marketing; in 2023, it may be a secret no longer.
~ Frank Strong, Founder and President, Sword and the Script Media, LLC
A version of the above prediction was first published by the Content Marketing Institute: 80+ Content Marketing Trends for Success in 2023
40. PR finds owned media programs complement media relations efforts
The vast majority (90%) of communications professionals say comms work has changed at least some. This includes 50% who said it has changed significantly. That’s according to the 483 communicators that took the 5th Annual JOTW Strategic Communications Survey, which I co-produce with Ned Lundquist.
How has it changed? Owned media is the top area of emphasis, according to the survey. Respondents said their organization is placing more or much more emphasis on owned media (60%), like blogs, newsletters and websites.
Owned media is also the only area that landed a consensus majority. Fore example, shared media (44%) was next, followed by earned media (43%) – a traditional bailiwick of communications — and paid media (33%).
When asked, “Why?” survey respondent answers varied widely with some describing growing difficulties around media relations.
Indeed, I’ve lost track of how many times I had a pitch declined by a media outlet, turned it into a blog post, watched it take off, and wound up with a link or mention from that publication anyway. When done properly, which means running owned media like a media publication, it will complement your media relations efforts.
The research suggests savvy PR professionals are headed in that direction in 2023.
~ Frank Strong, Founder and President, Sword and the Script Media, LLC
A version of the above prediction was first published by Muck Rack: PR predictions for 2023: 10 industry pros weigh in.
41. Polish up your fundamentals
Polishing up your fundamentals in marketing and PR is usually a good investment of time. Revisit your positioning and ensure it is unique. Make sure your messaging is tight. Find your corporate story.
If you engage in media relations, make sure your company is easy to cover: you have a well-organized newsroom, readily available contact information and remain highly responsive to media inquiries. When you earn a mention, have a plan and budget to capitalize on it, share it, and promote it across owned, shared, and paid media channels.
Similarly, for content marketing, redouble your efforts on content distribution. Set aside 5-10% of the content creation budget for distribution. Focus on building a subscribed email audience, because that’s the one channel where you have the most control. When you use third-party distribution channels, the goal is to get a little bit of their audience to become part of yours.
~ Frank Strong, Founder and President, Sword and the Script Media, LLC
A version of the above advice was first published by Michelle Garrett: 23 Experts Share Top Marketing and PR Advice for 2023.
* * *
Thank you for reading. Wishing you a safe and happy holiday season.
Prior year prediction posts:
- 2022: 20 PR and Marketing Predictions for 2022
- 2021: Seeing Around Corners: 30 Marketing and PR Predictions for 2021
- 2020: 30 Pragmatic Marketing and PR Predictions for 2020
- 2019: 26+ Thoughtful Marketing Predictions that Could Actually Happen in 2019 Across PR, Content, Digital, Social Media and Customer Success
- 2018: 20 Insightful PR and Marketing Predictions for 2018
- 2017: One Prediction Each for PR, Content Marketing and Social Media
- 2016: 11 Shrewd PR and Marketing Predictions You Can Bank On
- 2016: One Bold Content Marketing Prediction for 2016
- 2015: 6 Pragmatic Content Marketing Predictions for 2015
- 2014: Focusing on a Few 2014 Content Marketing Predictions
If you enjoyed this post, you might also like:
The 13 Most Popular Blog posts on Sword and the Script in 2022
Image credit: Pexels