Communication or Communications … That is the Question

    As the recipient of a degree in communication from Old Dominion (ahem…Go Monarchs!), the singular use of the word was ingrained during my college days. At our September chapter meeting, speaker Mickey Nall, APR, Fellow PRSA, argued that as PR practitioners we’ve moved past the day of singular communication and into the world of communications. As I parallel his argument with my growing list of communication strategies and tactics, it’s hard not to agree. It’s also hard to keep up with what tools and trends are worth our time, research and investment. Nall was prepared to assist as he shared 10 trends in communications (and some hysterical memes) that we can’t afford to overlook. Here’s his trend list and a tip to keep you on trend.

    1. Personal Branding
      • Branding is an emotional connection to a product/service/organization. Don’t cut out the emotion.
    1. Social media impact
      • It’s not about the volume, it’s about the engagement. Focus on the value of your responses/engagement and quit fixating on one bad comment.
    1. Integrated marketing
      • PR pros have to understand business, marketing, advertising, social media and analytics.
    1. Shift to mobile
      • If you aren’t mobile friendly, get there now. You can’t afford not to.
    1. Brand journalism
      • While noting that brand journalism isn’t as effective as earned media, he argued it is still an effective way to tell your brand’s story in a meaningful way.
    1. Authenticity-Transparency
      • In our hyper-honest, hyper-connected world, you have no choice but to be honest and transparent. Period.
    1. Purpose-driven marketing
      • Purpose-driven organizations received more money from millennials. They research organizations not just for their product or service, but for their purpose. Find your purpose.
    1. A picture is really worth a thousand words
      • Pictures receive more engagement than words. Capitalize on that and tell your story through images.
    1. Crisis in the “Always On” era
      • Crisis communication is nothing new for the seasoned PR pro. The planning doesn’t change. When you’re in the crisis, it is more critical now than ever to be as vigilant as you can and keep your communication simple. You may only have 140 characters.
    2. Outcomes instead of Outputs-Measurement
      • MEASURE. Digital communication is measurable and it doesn’t cost you anything. Start with free Google tools.

    What else can you do to stay on trend? Check out these resources:

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