Bold predictions

PRWeek asked a number of thought leaders to make bold predictions about the future of the marketing communications and media industries. Here you will find their responses.

AGENCY BILLINGS

Ray Kotcher, CEO and senior partner, Ketchum

By 2015 we will see the first billion dollar PR agency.

GLOBAL

Andy Polansky, president, Weber Shandwick

A highly specialized global citizen will be the face of many of tomorrow's PR professionals

TALENT

Fred Cook, CEO and president, GolinHarris

I predict that people from the advertising world will flock to the PR profession because they will realize this is where the action is in terms of influence and creativity.

C-SUITE

Mark Hass, CEO, MS&L Global
A communications specialist will become as vital to a corporate CEO, both in times of trouble and times of opportunity, as an outside legal counsel or investment banker

MARKETING MIX

Michael Kempner, president and CEO, MWW Group
PR firms will rise as ad agencies fall, but our model will change dramatically. Our job will be about "individualizing the mass" to create consumer engagement and reputational growth for clients by leading the convergence of traditional media, new media ... and even newer media that we can't imagine today

GLASS CEILING

Margi Booth, president, M Booth & Associates

Seventy five percent of C-suite positions at public relations firms and the most senior communications positions at Fortune 1000 companies will be filled by women in 10 years. This trend will complement the surge of women joining corporate boards and running for political office.

PR REVENUES

Doug Spong, CEO, Carmichael Lynch Spong

Despite the current economic gloom, I predict that public relations will be one of the 10 fastest growing professions in the next 10 years as measured by employment and spending. In fact, worldwide fee revenue for public relations firms will double from the current estimate of $8 billion to $16 billion by 2018.

DIVERSITY

Kim Hunter, president and CEO, Lagrant Communications
In the next 10 years, there will be a person of color at the head of a top 10 PR firm. With the change in demographics and demand from clients, the PR industry, particularly with the agencies, will have no excuse to seriously consider and hire an ethnic minority to run a global PR agency.

REPUTATION

Dave Samson, GM of corporate affairs for Chevron

As uncertainty swirls on numerous fronts the value of clear and rationale communications will only escalate. During this extraordinary period, our profession can serve an important stabilizing force

FACTS

Kathy Bloomgarden, co-CEO, Ruder Finn

Fact and fiction will become indistinguishable in online news media, making trust a vital commodity that PR can provide

MEDIA

Monte Lutz, VP, digital public affairs, Edelman

Within a year, a major daily will allow readers to edit online articles Wikipedia style, instead of just being able to add comments. Reporters will revolt, readers will flock

CITIZEN JORNALISM

Michael J. Neuwirth, senior director of PR, The Dannon Company

Citizen journalism will redefine mainstream journalism. Corroborated and unsupported “iReports” will be the news industry's most effective cost saving means and become the standard to report breaking news

TECHNOLOGY

Mark Raper, chairman and CEO, CRT/tanaka

Going forward, the human behaviors of influencers and key audiences will determine our actions. New ways to create dialogues with individuals and like-minded groups – far beyond Facebook or Twitter – will be created. Like in any true conversation, messaging will be almost instantaneous

METRICS

Bill Byrne, lead strategist, BB Public Relations

We'll stop letting clients use out dated (and flawed) metrics carried over from the advertising industry as the lead indicator of a programs success

MOBILE

Pam Edstrom, EVP, Waggener Edstrom Worldwide

Cell phones are going to get bigger again, both in form and in their impact on communications and business

NEWSWIRES

Joe Sibilia, president, CSRwire

The traditional press release will still be relevant as a starting point for dialogue and will be challenged from many points of view. Newswires as a vehicle to disseminate 'required disclosure' will no longer be relevant. Executed correctly, the newswire can evolve just like music, television, and movie delivery

SOCIAL NETWORKS
Eric Schwartzman, founder, iPressroom

Managing online social communities on behalf of organizations will replace media relations as the PR industry's mainstay

MULTICULTURAL

Leslie Yngojo-Bowes, president and founder, US Asian Wire
Recognizing the economic clout of the Asian American market, USAW predicts an increase in strategic marketing campaigns targeting this affluent audience. Our services will diversify to account for projected continued economic and demographic growth in Asian-American communities


FINANCIAL MARKETING

Shelly Holmes, EVP, The Rogers Group
PR people will soon be blamed as a party to the financial bail out issues. Over-the-top marketing and hyped media coverage will be blamed for making Americans believe home ownership was not only attainable – but a "right."

NOMENCLATURE

Jeffrey Sharlach, founder and chairman of The Jeffrey Group

In 10 years the term "public relations" will have disappeared from use and PRWeek will probably have a new masthead that embraces the full range of communications planning and tactics that are now part of our arsenal. Most agencies have already dropped PR from their names and it's rare that one runs across a client contact with a public relations title these days.

MEDIA

Wes Pedersen, president, Wes Pedersen Communications

Within the next five years, the New York Times will fold, the greatest failure in journalism in history. Within the next five years, Rupert Murdoch will add the Financial Times to his media empire.

PUBLIC AFFAIRS

Margery Kraus, president and CEO, APCO Worldwide

The financial industry will increasingly rely on DC–based public affairs expertise in light of the recent economic crisis and heightened government regulation.

C-SUITE

Michael Cherenson, PRSA chair-elect
Throughout the next decade, public relations professionals will continue their ascent to America's C-suites, assuming senior positions including top spots at Fortune 100 companies

PR VS ADVERTISING

Jennifer Cohan, Managing Director, GolinHarris New York

Within the next 10 years, the public relations industry will grow to rival the size of the US advertising industry. As marketers evolve their media strategies and become more accustomed to an expanded role for PR, it will become ever more valued and purchased.

REPUTATION

Leslie Gaines-Ross, chief reputation strategist, Weber Shandwick

Reputation repair and recovery will be the enduring theme in reputation management in the years ahead. As entire industries consolidate and reorder themselves, reputation will rise to the top of leadership agendas in the hope of winning back the public trust.

MARKETING MIX

Michael Distefano, SVP and CMO, Korn/Ferry International

The PR agency as we knew it is dead. Today' s multinational organizations need communications partners who can help us assess, deploy, and leverage a variety of platforms to convey messages and build relationships with key constituents.

MEDIA CENTERS

Michael Schubert, chief creative officer, Ruder Finn

New media technology will make television obsolete and put the computer screen in the living room.

MOBILE

Steven Keith, EVP of strategy, Capstrat

In the next 18 months, the mobile handset will be the dominant advertising, marketing and PR delivery channel.

RADIO

Michael Marinello, director of PR, corporate communications, Microsoft Corporation

Radio – including the “audio internet” – will continue to be a dominant player in how we receive news and advertising

HEALTH & WELLNESS

Rita Tateel, president, The Celebrity Source

More celebrities will be embracing health-related causes and concerns during the next 10 years. Aging baby-boom celebrity icons will be forced into the public eye with their inevitable health issues. This will be a boom for Pharmaceutical and cause-related PR and marketing.

MEDIA

Nick Ragone, SVP - Ketchum PR

Within 5 years, most daily newspapers in the United States will be exclusively online, except for a Sunday print edition.

MOBILE MEDIA

Jennifer Abelson, CEO, Abelson Group
We will see the world's first made-for-mobile magazines steal significant eyeballs from their digital counterparts.

MEDIA RELATIONS

Curtis Hougland, founder, Attention

The era of pitching dies at the hands of social media. Instead, we produce, publish, share, link, tag, bookmark, organize, post, distribute, syndicate, and barter transparently, measurably and authentically.

PR SOFTWARE

Chris Lynn, peer media manager, North America, Text 100

Instead of pushing content over a wire, agencies will provide dashboards through an open API with real-time dynamic client information, insight and resources. The media can access raw data to create limitless mash-ups, from multi-media articles to competitive reports—as easily as a DJ remixes music.

TALENT
Bonin Bough, director of global social media, Pepsi
You will see a ton of corporate marketers poach senior digital talent from communications agencies leaving a void of experienced talent at top levels in digital agencies.

TWITTER

Scott Schneider, EVP and managing director, RFI Studios (Ruder Finn)

Complete Twitter burnout

ENGAGEMENT

Duncan Wardle, VP of global integration PR, Walt Disney Company

Consumers will have complete control over which brands they choose to engage with. The most successful brands will be those that fully immerse their communities in the decision making process.

DIGITAL

Brad B McCormick, EVP of US digital, Porter Novelli

Distinctions between online and online media will be obliterated. More customization, less privacy. Consumers will heavily reward for allowing companies to track and measure all online activities. Data mining becomes a hip, high-paying profession. Anonymous shopping becomes new luxury.

BILLINGS
Luca Penalti, MD, global technology practice, Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide

PR will eventually start to look at charging clients for the audience reach, not just by the hour (Google has conditioned marketers to think this way).

AGENCY STRUCTURE
Al Krueger, founder and president, Comet Branding

Un-agency formats will rise. Overly-corporate structures of agencies will fall away. Client costs will be dramatically reduced by niche independent creative groups working as collectives to drive openness, creativity and results.

CSR

Anne Marie Agnelli, VP of communications and community relations, CA
In 2009, considering the recent economic turmoil and the questioning of corporate ethics, large companies will begin to compete in a new global market - the market of corporate social responsibility - and PR initiatives that promote a company's CSR efforts will play a critical role in supporting investor and consumer confidence.

AGENCY STRUCTURE
Peter Krivkovich, CEO, Cramer-Krasselt/CKPR

There will be few pure play firms left in any communication segment within years. The age of seamless, tightly, and strategically coordinated communication that incorporates every possible method of dialogue with the consumer will totally reshape our industry and the resources we invest in.


TECH BLOGGERS

Jonathan Bloom, CEO, McGrath/Power Public Relations & Communications

Tech bloggers suffer a conflict of interest PR crisis from non-transparent investments in touted companies. Reader demand for “real transparency” will force a call to oft-criticized PR professionals for crisis communications

SOCIAL NETWORKS

Cos Mallozzi, president and CEO, Gibbs & Soell Public Relations
In an effort to re-establish humanity as the true driver of the digital age, business leaders and marketers will revive the traditional definition of “social networking”.

MEDIA
Lois Paul, CEO, Lois Paul & Partners
A media outlet will emerge that offers a back-to-basics approach that is built around the communication of raw, brief “news facts” without analysis and commentary.

PR VS ADVERTISING

Douglas Simon, president and CEO, D S Simon Productions

PR will have the opportunity to surpass advertising as the most important marketing vehicle and will screw it up.

PITCHING

Dave Donohue, director of media strategy, OutCast Communications

Social networking tools and Twitter will supplant e-mail in tech PR, with phones reserved only for truly high-value, breaking news.

MEDIA RELATIONS

Jennifer Risi, EVP of global strategic media group, Weber Shandwick

There will be fewer media brands with a handful of reporters providing everything the consumer wants and needs across multiple channels.

CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIPS

Steve Cody, managing partner and cofounder, Peppercom

Unless and until PR firms begin routinely interacting with a client's customers, we'll continue to lose ground to other marketing services agencies.

R&D

Linda Eatherton, partner and director, global food and nutrition practice, Ketchum

Consumers will join food R&D departments...virtually. Skip the consumer surveys. As technology empowers more consumers to take action and take control, expect consumers to demand to have a say in product development and design from the very beginning.

NONPROFIT

Melissa Waggener Zorkin, CEO and president, Waggener Edstrom Worldwide
Pro bono isn't good enough anymore. Companies that don't broaden their view will miss the business opportunity in looking to innovation to solve major societal issues.

GLOBALIZATION
Jack Modzelewski, president of client relations and senior partner, Fleishman-Hillard

Despite America's difficult political and economic problems, many emerging countries will steadily progress their own economies and raise standards of living, which is good for our industry.

ENVIRONMENTALISM

Kenneth Makovsky, president, Makovsky & Co.

“Less Is More” Is Back. Americans will recoil from the hyper-consumerism of the recent past and embrace simplicity and eco-consciousness. This will affect the nature and style of our communications.

MEDIA BIAS
Sheila Tate, vice chairman, Powell Tate
I predict the complete demise of the traditional television networks in the next decade. The three commercial networks have moved so far left politically that they are losing viewers at record numbers. Add to that the growing desire of younger generations to go elsewhere for news and entertainment and the roadmap becomes clearer every day.

WASHINGTON
Neil Dhillon, MD, MS&L Washington
Regardless of who won the November presidential elections, Washington will be turned upside down with new political appointments, policy directives, and bipartisan bickering. Clients need to be prepared to work both sides of the aisle in a systematic manner to achieve maximum results.

EMEA
Ed Moed, managing partner and cofounder, Peppercom
Asian and European public relations firms will win more and more of the huge multinational accounts because their professionals possess more of a world view.

DIGITAL AFFAIRS
Torod Neptune, SVP, public affairs practice, Waggener Edstrom Worldwide

Agencies that have established themselves at the nexus of “Digital Advocacy and Public Policy” will be the only surviving firms thriving and doing great work. The traditional firms will cease to exist.

EMPLOYEE RELATIONS

Kevin Elliot, SVP of corporate, Hill & Knowlton

If the Employee Free Choice Act passes next year, union membership in the United States could grow by a million new members in the following twelve months. Companies who are concerned about the implications of such a radical shift would be well advised to initiate a sustained communication program now – alongside their labor relations program – ahead of that coming tidal wave of organizing activity

PATIENT EDUCATION

Carrie Liaskos, team leader, Chandler Chicco Agency

In the healthcare space, unbranded patient education programs will rise in importance as vehicles to build loyalty for branded products and gain access to managed care organizations.

AGENCY STRUCTURE

Sam Ford, director of customer insights, Peppercom

Traditional, media-by-the-pound PR agencies will disappear as digital speeds the need for true, consultative services and procurement commoditizes offerings.

PHARMA M&A

Diane Weiser, president and COO, WeissComm Group
Roche's purchase of Genentech will revitalize the biotech industry, spawning dozens of new companies and creating a new wave of discovery and commercialization.

REGULATIONS
Heather Gartman, MD and healthcare practice leader, Zeno Group

I predict that healthcare PR will take a step backwards in the coming years due to the new PhRMA regulations. Pharmaceuticals are going to have to eliminate their unbranded disease awareness campaigns, even though they are fully disclosing who is behind the campaigns.

REFORM

Shannon Troughton, VP of corporate communications, WellPoint
Public relations practitioners in healthcare will need to know how the system works inside and out because the reform that is coming will involve all constituents – pharma, medical devices, insurers, government, etc.

ONLINE

Colleen Beauregard, SVP of healthcare, Waggener Edstrom Worldwide

The Internet will be the most important vehicle for health-related information. Note to healthcare providers: If you're not online, fall in line.

REPUTATION

Peter Verrengia, president and senior partner, Communications Consulting Worldwide, a Fleishman-Hillard company
The value of reputation will be used as a measure of success, and a component of company valuation, as brand value is today. As a result, reputation and brand management will be much more integrated.

COMPUTERS

Dan Solomon, CEO, Virilion

PR is dead because PR today means media relations. In the future, computers will be the most important mediators not journalists or bloggers. Professional communicators will focus on creating content and experiences that drive business objectives directly.

SEARCH ENGINES

Steve Rubel, SVP and director of insights, Edelman Digital

Google will become the most global important media outlet by 2010 because it will be the dominant way consumers engage with the growing glut of online information.

INNOVATION

Robert Burnside, partner and chief learning officer, Ketchum

The classroom will be replaced with one-minute video clips accessible on your PDA. Group breakouts will become IM chats. You'll find the instructor's pictures of his vacation on Facebook.

TRANSPARENCY
Scott Widmeyer, chairman, Widmeyer Communications

Fluff is out and substance is in as we enter the tough choices/tough times period of the early 21st century. This means transparency, accountability, and results that can be measured because, otherwise, the stakes are too high in this new integrated 3E world of education, the environment, and the economy.

ENERGY

Stephanie Marchesi, president, NY, Cohn & Wolfe
The energy sector will be biggest growth industry for public relations in 2009. Opportunities are vast including sustained high energy prices, political priority to reduce dependence on energy imports, regulations addressing climate change, and economically viable new technologies.

GROWTH

Armando Azarloza, president, Axis Agency

The US Hispanic population will grow faster than anyone expects reaching a whopping 25% of the US population by 2020. The US will elect a Hispanic-American President of the United States by 2024.

METRO MARKETS

George San Jose, president and COO, The San Jose Group
Multicultural communications programs will become the standard for reaching our ever-evolving, diverse, metro markets.

ONLINE INITIATIVES

Rene Mack, president of the travel and lifestyle practice, Weber Shandwick

Travel and tourism organizations will make more extensive and creative use of online strategies in telling their story directly to consumers. Increasingly consumers will be able to access video, Google Earth guides, peer reviews and mainstream travel prose on sites that aggregate tools and facilitate virtual travel in the decision-making process.

GLOBAL

Bob Grove, managing director, Southeast Asia, Edelman
Asia just got infinitely hotter as companies seek respite from this global engine of growth. With that comes a magnifying glass of environmental and social scrutiny that will be unprecedented for companies to manage

PR REVENUES

Mark Weiner, CEO, North America, Prime Research

PR's share of marketing spending now rounds-down to 0%: In 2018, it is 3% due to PR's outsized returns coupled with ROI-driven budgeting and the decline of traditional marketing.

EDUCATION

Brad Rodney, managing partner, M Booth & Associates

At the university levels, public relations coursework will become a requirement for MBA degrees. Students seeking PR degrees will double in number over the next 10 years and their coursework will include more business and management requirements preparing them to offer more respected business counsel to the C-suite.

MEDIA RELATIONS

Billee Howard, EVP/MD Global Strategic Media, Weber Shandwick
I predict continued consolidation across media categories and an increasingly glaring blurring line forming between journalists and PR people. We will be faced with the new challenge of transforming our clients from mere disseminators of information into trusted purveyors of content.

MEASUREMENT

Jim Nail, chief strategy and marketing officer, TNS Media Intelligence/Cymfony

Market mix modeling becomes the norm for PR measurement. As the marketing communications tactics proven successful by the models get more budget, PR will have no choice but to insist of being included.

GLOBAL

Bob Grove, managing director, Southeast Asia, Edelman
Asia just got infinitely hotter as companies seek respite from this global engine of growth. With that comes a magnifying glass of environmental and social scrutiny that will be unprecedented for companies to manage.

SOCIAL MEDIA

Steven H. Parker, CEO, Parker Communications

Within two years there will be a shakeout of social media tools. Only a handful will become essential PR tools. The rest will join the sock puppets.

INFLUENCERS

Frank X. Shaw, president, Microsoft world account, Waggener Edstrom Worldwide

New influencers will rise and fall faster. We will need to be nimble in getting ahead of trends and identifying how audiences are receiving information.

MEASUREMENT
Craig Troskosky, senior account director, Text 100

I predict that measurement focused on ROI will increasingly dominate PR budget conversations, as more professionals look to prove a more tangible and defensible value of their PR programs.”

MULTICULTURAL

George San Jose, president and COO, The San Jose Group
Multicultural communications programs will become the standard for reaching our ever-evolving, diverse, metro markets.

VIRAL MARKETING

Mike Smith, CEO, MSBD

I predict the end of the PR world as we know it - and the flowering of a new viral marketing and interactive outreach profession. With the changes in peripheral media available for placements, and the disintermediation of the traditional press, PR people must move to new methodologies and public outreach efforts

EDUCATION

Amy Messenger, MD of US technology, Ogilvy PR Worldwide
There will be resurgence in interest for deploying corporate knowledge management systems. The explosion in simple-to-deploy, simple-to-train web systems, thanks in part to the groundswell of interest in social networks and self publish tools, will cause enterprises to take a second look.

SOCIAL MEDIA

Mike Breslin, GM, Hill & Knowlton Texas

PR, as we know it, is a dying profession. By 2020, it will be utterly supplanted by communications disciplines that focus on social media (which will consume traditional media relations and grassroots, as we currently know it (ironically, this phenomenon will also displace traditional mass advertising, which in itself will open multiple avenues of opportunities for current PR practitioners).

CROWD SOURCING

Darius Razgaitis, senior account executive, Ruder Finn

Creativity will be crowd-sourced, redefining the role of the professional creative mind. PR will be tasked with orchestrating the crowd talking to itself

CULPABILITY

Mike Paul, CEO, Mike Paul & Associates

I predict the CEO or senior executive within a major global public relations agency will do “the perp walk” and go to prison for unethical and illegal work associated with a global financial corporation.

PR GROWTH
Harris Diamond, CEO, Weber Shandwick
Growth will be fundamentally unlimited for our industry. We will only be limited by our own lack of imagination. Whether it is new content platforms or distribution channels, our creativity, strategic smarts, and big ideas will be more in demand than ever before. It is an exciting time to be in PR.

MARKETING MIX

David Wickenden
SVP and senior partner, managing director of digital integration, Fleishman-Hillard

“PR” will disappear. Replacing it will be a new communications discipline – a “fourth space” integrating marketing, advertising, and PR, driven by the digital shift to personal and participatory media.

WEB 3.0
Jeff Beringer, SVP, Dialogue team leader, GolinHarris
The ushering in of Web 3.0 – the semantic Web – will reduce the need for PR practitioners to pitch or distribute news to many different sources, require us to sharpen messaging significantly, and accelerate the transition from “mass” to “micro” communication.

CRISIS COMMUNICATIONS

Ed Cafasso, MD, MS&L Boston
Public, private and nonprofit enterprises will learn to plan for communicating in every conceivable crisis. Nothing will be off the table in crisis planning. If you can imagine it, it could happen.

CSR

Matt Rose, EVP, MWW Group
The much-hyped concept of “green” communications will fall from favor within three years. “We don't harm the environment” becomes the cost of entry, not a positive differentiator, and as programs touting environmental responsibility evolve into broader initiatives focused on corporate sustainability.

CSR

Chris Deri, global practice head, CSR & Sustainability, Edelman

Human rights for business will shift from the realm of just crisis & risk management to become a mainstream competitiveness issue in terms of recruitment, product consideration, and compensation and advancement.

GREEN

Audra Hession, VP, Gibbs & Soell Public Relations

Home and building products marketers will bring planet-friendly messages back down to earth. Unsubstantiated, “aspirational” environmental themes will pivot to “wallet conscious” messaging for making smart green purchases on tighter budgets.

METRICS

Tim Marklein, EVP and GM, Northern California and global measurement practice, Weber Shandwick

Forget “outputs, outtakes, and outcomes.” PR will get serious about measurement and demonstrate value in business terms. Smart leaders will invest at least 10% to make the 90% work harder.

PUBLIC AFFAIRS
William Murray, EVP of public affairs for MWW Group
The online age will continue to make the definition of “local” less clear – increasing the capacity of what traditionally might have been considered “outsiders” to impact local public affairs and public policy

PUBLIC AFFAIRS
Michael Fulton, EVP, GolinHarris
As more baby boomers in PR seek to end their careers by making a difference and unprecedented new voters are revitalizing the political process, public relations practitioners worldwide will engage in and include public affairs strategies in all facets of their communications.

PR VS ADVERTISING

Bud Grebey, SVP, corporate practice, Waggener Edstrom Worldwide

Advertising will give ground to strategic communications and PR just as mainstream media is yielding to new channels of communication.

PR VS ADVERTISING

Steven Jones, EVP, GolinHarris

The days of the media buy are over. Public relations will displace advertising once and for all as the primary communication tool for brands around the world.

PR VS ADVERTISING

Joel Curran, managing director, MS&L Midwest Region
The great land grab of the modern marketing era is in full swing. The traditional PR model is dissolving into a blend of previously siloed disciplines that today must work holistically. PR's ability to engage influencers directly via social media is positioning PR in this new order.

PR VS ADVERTISING

Rick Murray, president, Edelman Digital

PR will supplant advertising as the strategic driver in the communications mix, as the profession embraces analytics and adopts a standard set of metrics that consistently track the causal relationship between a client's PR initiatives and their business results.

SOCIAL MEDIA

Shannon Nelson, corporate communications director, Pierce Mattie PR

Social Media and PR will become one and the same. I believe it will be advertising that will take the biggest hit in 2009.

BLOG RELATIONS

Ewan J. MacLeod, editor, Mobile Industry Review

The PR industry will quickly recognize that non-mainstream media is becoming increasingly more important. Blog relations will cease to be a dark art practiced by Kevin in the basement.

CONSUMER GENERATED CONTENT

Donald E. Martelli, VP, MS&L Boston
Top tier news outlets will be seen in the same light as consumer-generated content. Digital is all about the conversation and consumers are tired of being talked to. They will demand to be heard.

CONSUMER GENERATED CONTENT

William G. Daddi, president, Daddi Brand Communications

The consumer desire to access content directly and bypass information gatekeepers such as the media will necessitate the evolution of brand communications from that of primarily disseminating information to content creation.

TRANSPARENCY

Howard Bragman, CEO and founder, Fifteen Minutes

For so long we have tried to control our messages. Now, the best we can do is managing communications. Private communications don't exist and transparency is the new reality.

TECHNOLOGY

Tony Sapienza, principal partner, Topaz Partners

Technology PR professionals will emerge as the experts in online communications – and the mainstream communications counsel for the digital world

VIRTUAL AGENCIES

Kim Miller, managing partner, Tier One Partners

Sue Parente, Managing Partner, Tier One Partners, “Virtual agencies become more the norm than the exception – it's too efficient to ignore.”

Aaron Heinrich, SVP, consumer practice, Waggener Edstrom Worldwide

Everyone involved in marketing communications will become content creators, and PR people will be forced to both think and communicate visually in order to survive.

Jennifer Houston, SVP, StudioD, Waggener Edstrom Worldwide
The space between brands and their public is collapsing. Communications professionals are increasingly using their deep understanding of influence to engage and empower audiences, moving them from discovery to action.

Kay Hart, GM, SVP, technology practice, Waggener Edstrom Worldwide

The premium in technology PR continues to be a good story but will be 24 x 7, globally, with new channels including micro-storytelling.

ENERGY

Jon Coifman, Vice President, Environmental Practice, Waggener Edstrom

Energy, water, and climate change will be an everyday part of core business strategy. And many more companies will see the solutions as an opportunity instead of a threat.

AGRICULTURE
Ann Camden, SVP, Gibbs & Soell Public Relations
Agriculture and rural lifestyle marketers are finally poised to unleash the power of the Web. Social media communications will change how agriculture PR engages consumers and businesses from farm to table.

INDUSTRY

Elizabeth McDonnell, VP, Gibbs & Soell Public Relations
Following a business era where technology reigned, industrial manufacturers will once again move to the forefront under the shared mantle of global energy responsibility.

REPUTATION

Roger Ardan, VP, Gibbs & Soell Public Relations
Business communicators in brand rehabilitation mode must engage wary stakeholders in more personal ways. Relationships will be cultivated with “alpha customers” whose personal recommendations are highly valued by their peers.

MARKETING MIX
Barb Iverson, president, financial services industry practice, Weber Shandwick
PR firms – not ad agencies – will be in the driver's seat, leading integrated marketing campaigns for clients

PR PROMINENCE

Sergio Morales, VP of corporate practice, Weber Shandwick
Given PR's increasingly significant role across disparate industries, a top-tier publication – perhaps BusinessWeek – will initiate “The Year's 5 Best PR Campaigns,” highlighting critical impact on consumer or market sentiments.

SOCIAL MEDIA
Brooke Worden, account director, financial services industry practice group, Weber Shandwick
Social media spend will overtake ‘traditional' media relations spend as a larger percentage of client budgets.

EDUCATION

Robert Burnside, partner and chief learning officer, Ketchum

Learning how to learn will replace learning stuff. Knowledge databases will keep all the content – you'll be focused instead on learning faster and getting more intelligent insights.

DIGITAL

Barri Rafferty, partner and director, New York, Ketchum

The future of our business is reliant on effectively adapting to change – PR practitioners must become more marketing savvy and embrace the digital world, or our discipline will decline like the stock market has during the month of October.

MEASUREMENT

David Rockland, partner and MD, Ketchum Global Research Network

Public Relations will operate under a mantra of "it doesn't count unless you can count it," with measurement a cornerstone of any worthwhile program.

COMMUNITY MARKETING

Todd P. Smith, CEO, Clear!Blue

In the near future, the CMO title will come to stand for “community marketed organization” with the brand's customers owning the promotion and personality of the brand

NEWSWIRES

Jack Trammel, president, VNR-1 Communications

Social Media systems will overrun PR “wire” systems for media distribution and fulfillment. Rapidly increasing sophistication of corporate and agency PR pros are creating one-trigger notification/pitching systems and one-stop Web site shopping for all media. The newest and existing generation of PR professionals re realizing how much they can now do themselves.

CONSUMER BRANDING

Alissa Blate, EVP of consumer marketing, MWW Group
Brands will rely heavily on marketing communications to increase share of voice and reinforce brand values. As consumers grow more selective, brands will need to have a very clear understanding of their audiences and place greater emphasis on individualized marketing.

CSR

Linda Eatherton, partner and director, global food and nutrition practice, Ketchum

Consumers will pay to "do good" globally. As our world shrinks our conscience and ability to act will grow. We will agree to pay more per product to contribute to initiatives around the world that address hunger, malnutrition, and improved sustainability.

MARKETING MIX

Ken Luce, president of Weber Shandwick California and Southwest

PR finally becomes the preferred communication medium for clients. Budget shifts continue as clients invest in PR over other mediums as the importance of reaching audiences through different means (digital, mobile, social, print, TV) continued to drive overall communications.

CONVERGENCE

Ed James, president of Cornerstone Public Relations
Convergence has become a stark reality for PR professionals as the impersonal press release becomes futile. Instead fostered relationships and experience-based PR will be the answer to securing substantial coverage.

REPUTATION

Patrice Tanaka, co-chair and chief creative officer, CRT/tanaka

The future of communications that I hope for is one where the Internet truly functions as a global, autonomic nervous system connecting everyone online. Computers and PDA devices will continuously scan and monitor our vital signs, communicating our true state of being - fear, anger, joy, love, trust, faith, etc. - without the need for any explanatory text commentary from us. In this idealized future, there will be no need for PR professionals to counsel and plead with clients to behave responsibly. Failure to do so will result in a global market response that is swift and punitive.

MARKETING MIX

Rich Goldblatt, SVP and director, consumer practice, M Booth & Associates

Public relations agencies will win the digital wars by serving as the primary stewards of the brand story – creating, shaping and amplifying brand messages - across all marketing channels.

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