Power Book 2015: Digital and social is PR's biggest opportunity, say sector leaders

Harnessing the power of digital - and of social media in particular - represents the biggest opportunity for the PR sector over the coming year, according to the industry's most influential people listed in PRWeek's Power Book.

The digital challenge: Senior PR practitioners see it as a key opportunity
That subject was chosen by 47 of the Power Book entrants who answered the question. It came ahead of the general election/new government on 36 votes.
In his response, the Mayor of London’s spokesman Will Walden stressed the importance of "unlocking" what is new beyond Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
Laura Peters, head of PR and social media at Cancer Research UK – the charity responsible for the hugely successful social media-led No Make-up Selfie campaign this year – asked simply: "What’s the next Ice Bucket Challenge?"

Of the 47 who gave digital or social media as an answer, six stressed the importance of video content; a hint at the direction of travel as the new media evolve.

Although the general election was seen as a major opportunity by many Power Book entrants, not everybody viewed it in the same way. Anna Glover, comms director at leisure group Whitbread, talked of providing "light relief" from the election "bombardment".

Dominant themes such as the integration of PR and marketing (16 votes) and the need for diversification (six) came to the fore. But conversely, some emphasised the opportunities of providing a specialised comms service.

The battleground between PR and marketing/advertising also emerged as a theme. For Hamish Thompson, MD of Houston PR, the greatest opportunity is "to get marketing directors to think PR first, advertising second".

Meanwhile, 10 people said the economic recovery represented the biggest opportunity in PR over the coming 12 months.

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