State of innovation in PR in 2009

Innovation is the buzzword of the moment. BusinessWeek, The Wall Street Journal, and The New York Times all have published features on...

Innovation is the buzzword of the moment. BusinessWeek, The Wall Street Journal, and The New York Times all have published features on Innovation in the past week. Fast Company’s cover story has Jeff Bezos saying, “What’s very dangerous is not to evolve.”

In the downturn, we’re forced to think even more creatively, and out of that are born great ideas that will transform how we operate long after the economy rebounds.

The key is to create a culture that sparks thinking on the next great innovation. In PR, that means innovating within the context of the PR function and innovating our campaigns. I see a four-pronged approach for all the PR innovators out there:

1) Of course, we’re all innovating what we do day-to-day. Every planning conversation needs to begin by asking – who are our core audiences, and what are the channels they’re using to gather information and engage in conversation? It’s that channel-neutral approach that is driving the most effective, compelling campaigns that integrate social media for example.

2) As an industry, we’re reimagining how we monitor and measure success. Consider the Radian6 and Salesforce.com Social CRM integration agreement this week. We’re all creating innovative approaches for monitoring on the social web that enable us to respond in real-time.

3) We need to actively foster creative thinking. As one example, BusinessWeek recommends an American Idol-type competition. Find a way to inspire colleagues at all levels to be fearless in presenting new PR campaigns.

4) We need to think differently about talent. Everyone’s definition of the “PR team” is evolving as we incorporate the best and brightest in search engine optimization, user-generated content, analytics, and more.

What’s your take on innovation?

Katie Neuman, VP, Bite Communications, and blogger

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