Next gen agencies; tighter news cycles; quality content -- what's ahead in 2016

By Bridget Kochersperger

Recently, Cincinnati  PRSA members had the chance to sit down with National PRSA CEO Joseph Truncale, Ph.D., CAE, and Chair Mark McClennan, APR, to talk about the public relations industry in 2016 and beyond, and how PRSA National will help its members stay up-to-date in this ever-changing industry. For example, PRSA will be rolling out more Business 101 tutorials for members to help communicators speak the language of business. This will also help us quantify the value of PR to the C-suite. 

CEO Joseph Truncale

CEO Joseph Truncale

We’ve put together a few of the key takeaways from Mark and Joe’s discussion.

Mark led the presentation with the idea that the public relations industry is at an inflection point. Major growth and change are coming, now more than ever before. But what’s exciting is that today, PR has a seat at the table. Mark encourages PR practitioners to make that seat count by being an active participant in the conversation.

A few predictions for the coming year:

  • Change will be the year’s only constant, especially when it comes to the platforms on which consumers and businesses are communicating. Snapchat may be the belle of the ball today, but by the end of 2016, we’ll likely be learning an entirely new group of platforms. Mark’s advice:  Don’t get too attached, and don’t put all of your eggs in one basket. Go with the flow and be open to new ideas.
  • The next generation agency is coming. While only a select few have begun to integrate the structure of a TV newsroom into their agency, Mark predicts this will become more commonplace. It will result in an even more streamlined, integrated experience for clients.
  • News cycles will compress even further. In the last few years, we’ve seen a 24-hour news cycle compress into a 24-second news cycle with the rise of platforms like Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat. Expectations for in-the-moment reporting and commentary will increase, and as PR practitioners, we have to be prepared to adjust and to keep up.
  • Content will still be king, and it’s up to us to make quality content choices. If we’re creating filler content, or what Mark refers to as, “Cool Whip on a cracker,” we’re not adding value to that brand. So, we need to create each piece of content as if it’s our first, and our last. In other words, think filet mignon.
  •  2016 will be the year of measurement and analytics. PRSA will be rolling out some literacy materials for members sometime this year to help explain different methods, and also how these results can affect reporting and help us prove our value.
  • Puppies and kittens will remain popular. Enough said.
Cincinnati PRSA's leadership team with Joseph Truncale and Mark McClennan, bottom row, center.

Cincinnati PRSA's leadership team with Joseph Truncale and Mark McClennan, bottom row, center.