Towards mobile and clouds

Industry bosses give their predictions on significant areas likely to expand in 2009.

McGlocklin: looking to the future of tech PR
McGlocklin: looking to the future of tech PR

Digital entertainment, green IT, cloud computing and mobile technology will be key growth areas for digital PR in 2009, according to agency bosses.

Michelle McGlocklin, MD of Weber Shandwick's tech practice, cited digital media and entertainment - including gaming, music and video on demand - as areas that are set to expand most rapidly. She said: 'In 2009, belt-tightening will make staying in the new going out.'

She added that Weber Shandwick Technology is expecting to further grow its digital media and entertainment practice, having already expanded the practice by 60 per cent in 2008.

McGlocklin said that green IT, which focuses on efficient power consumption, would also be a key target for technology PR agencies in 2009. Organisations will look to green technologies not just as way to boost their energy efficiency, but as a cost-cutting tool.

Another likely growth area is cloud computing, which allows people to access their computer files without being physically bound to one PC.

Jonathan Hargreaves, head of Edelman's technology division, said consumers would need to be educated about the technology and big companies would need to explain cloud computing to their investors.

Hargreaves also named mobile technology as an area likely to grow, especially as mobile internet is becoming more popular. Steve Earl, MD of Rainier PR, agreed that mobile is a 'sure-fire growth area'.

With certain areas set to do better than others, many agency bosses stressed the importance of having a range of clients. Kristin Syltevik founded Hotwire during the dotcom crash. She said the agency was protected as it had consciously tried to gain clients in several areas in the knowledge that different sectors experience financial problems at different times.

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