Thought Leadership

January 5, 2010

Signs Ahead for 2010


Yes it’s the start of a new work week, but also the first Monday of the new year and the new decade! Goodbye “Uh-Ohs” and hello “Aught Ten”!

Time to move on from debates on whether 2000-2009 was the ‘worst decade…ever’ (as well as arguments over whether the new decade starts now, or in 2011). We’re onward and upward here at CooperKatz – looking forward to what awaits us, our client partners and the PR industry as a whole in the year to come. So while we hope for the best and know there are never any guarantees, here’s our initial take on the road ahead and a few of the signs we’re seeing.

Buckle up and let’s roll!
Merge Ahead – The warp speed of news traveling across the Web, along with the considerable challenge of managing reputations through a growing array of media (‘new’ and ‘old’), calls for even stronger, closer partnerships between agencies and their clients. If PR doesn’t have a seat at your boardroom table, it’s time to quickly rethink your strategy and make that change. And we’ll certainly continue to see an increased integration of marketing and other disciplines – merging and blurring the traditional understanding of PR with advertising, interactive, customer service and more.
Green Light Means GO! A slate of major issues is already teed up for the new year – which means now is the time for sound PR strategies and relevant, meaningful messages related to such topics as healthcare reform, economic growth, sustainability and increasingly tricky questions around areas like personal privacy. There is also the upcoming Census, which won’t reveal its full results until 2011 – but nonetheless will be a real conversation starter in 2010 in terms of how brands will soon be ‘talking’ to consumers (as well as the very nature of the ‘mass’ consumer audience in the U.S.).
Proceed with Caution – Tiger Woods just hit the reset button for athlete and celebrity endorsements. Companies and their partners who go this route in 2010 will proceed with greater caution, as they continue to feel out how consumers’ perception of ‘personalities’ has been (or is still being) redefined. And the Accenture-Tiger Woods brand of ‘mega-deal’ – where one company links its image so fully and deeply with a single star – is likely to be a thing of the past.
Two-Way Traffic Ahead – For some time now, we’ve watched the decline of print and the rise of digital. 2010 may well be the year where digital truly has the edge, thanks in large part to the growth of content read over smart phones. The two-way street between traditional reporters and those leveraging ‘social’ channels (including citizen journalists) is now fully paved. Great (and timely and relevant) content ultimately wins the day regardless of where and how someone consumes it.
Heading in New Directions – The fragmenting but vibrant media landscape is calling for rapid and dramatic changes in the way PR pros break through the ‘noise’ of information overload. So creativity, innovation and a willingness to experiment will be critical in 2010 – as well a comfort in taking detours and roads less traveled. Along with our client partners, we’ll have to be more open-minded and less risk averse than ever before.

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