PR Predictions for 2013: Beware the blitz of buzz words

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This post is by Mark Paterson, principal of our Australian Public Relations Global Network affiliate Currie Communication, where this blog originally appeared.


As sure as night follows day, this new year will herald a new set of nifty terms designed to:

a. Make consultants sound smarter than they are; and

b. Make clients spend more for something worth less.

Remember these from 2012: “crowd sourcing”, “content marketing”, “shared value” and “socialising business”?

So, in the infamous words of former Australian Prime Minister John Howard: “Be alert, but not alarmed”.

Here’s a checklist to assist you to ‘keep watch’ during 2013:

1. Tell stories: that’s when people listen. We’ve been doing it this way for millennia. If you or your advocates don’t have a genuine story to tell, save your breath (and money). Be warned, “branded content” doesn’t always make true storytelling.

2. Be authentic: don’t make yourself (or your brand) out to be something that you/it ain’t. After all, in the fickle world of social media, a liar no longer needs a good memory. These days a liar requires 24/7 monitoring and an ”online dashboard”.

3. Seek insight: in the era of “big data”, it’s vital to make sense of the mountain of knowledge that is being gathered. Information and insight are two different things. Insight only comes from people who can tell the difference.

4. Think intelligently: “digital integration” – no matter how exciting it seems – won’t deliver commercial outcomes across every media platform. Select channels that are proven to achieve tangible results which support organisational goals.

5. Value relationships: No organisation has a need to achieve “social engagement” with the entire world. Target stakeholders with proven influence and customers who drive growth. Be prepared to spend more time with more people in fewer places.

There you have it, in a nutshell, a practical guide to taking guard against corporate jargon.

So, what new additions to business lexicon do you expect during 2013?

Stephanie Lough
Stephanie Lough
A former HMA Public Relations employee.

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