What's new for 2010?

It's not even Christmas (or Hanukkah) yet and already, here they come -- the cliché-ridden predictions of trends for 2010. In the words of my mother, "oy vey."

It's not even Christmas (or Hanukkah) yet and already, here they come -- the cliché-ridden predictions of trends for 2010. In the words of my mother, “oy vey.”

But sometimes it's better to just jump into the fray. Rather than offering up my own sage advice, I asked for the top PR trends from my 40 affiliate PR agencies in markets around the globe, all members of the Public Relations Global Network.

There were some interesting results. Topping the list was what I call “the new media paradigm.” Meaning, the role of social media, hyperlocal blogs, citizen journalism, and SEO – how PR is evolving to handle this new beast. On this topic, John Mallen, president of JMC Marketing Communications, says, “It's all about defining the function of public relations in the business and public affairs culture for organizations of the 21st century.”

Anne Buchanan, president of Buchanan PR, concurs. She says, “We must broaden the conversation beyond PR and engage clients in dialogue about initiatives heretofore outside PR's domain.” Jackson Harrell, president of The Harrell Group, adds, “There's more interest in the safety, appropriateness, and effective use of social media.”

Also big next year will be philanthropy. Jim Warrington, president of Fantail Communications, says, “Corporate social responsibility programs are growing, driving community-oriented PR programs at the expense of commercially-based spends.” However, Scott Hanson, president of HMA PR, has another take. “There are more opportunities for nonprofit work as funding sources dry up. And there's a renewed sense of philanthropy as agencies take on more pro-bono clients to keep staff busy.”

Not surprising, visual communication is also a priority. Dominique Biquard, partner at Identia PR, says “it's all about “high visual impact actions, with low cost.” Stay tuned for more predictions.

David Landis, president/CEO, Landis Communications

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