Thought Leaders on What to Expect in PR in 2016: Science, Data and Analytics


What should we expect in PR and communications in 2016? We asked top thought leaders for their insights.

Three powerful themes emerged from their responses:
Scope and Breadth (Click link for insights)
Science, Data and Analytics (Insights below)
Story and Content (Click link for insights)

The importance of data and science in taking PR forward stood out. Fred Bateman of Bateman Group points to the analytical capabilities required, Blogger and Author Jeff Bullas says PR is now a science, while Futurist Carmen Villadar looks at the role of data science in a social context.

Read the insights on science, data, and analytics from these top thought leaders below.

In 2015, PR as an industry definitely came into its own and solidified a seat at the C-level table. But to keep it, 2016 needs to be about putting to rest lingering notions that PR people are pure creatives who don’t understand the complex spectrum of dynamics impacting their businesses. To be successful in PR today requires a lot, with mastery of the spoken and written word but only one of the criteria. It requires a hyper analytical mind able to quickly dissect products, competitors and markets. Every strategy is also dependent on our ability to accurately calculate every possible risk while never being too risk averse in our recommended approach. In other words, PR is hard.

PR professionals need to know more or at least be better informed than anyone else in the room, including the CEO. In 2016, I predict PR people across all industries will lean in even more to bring the profession to new levels of respect and admiration.

Fred Bateman, Owner, Bateman Group
Follow on Twitter: @fredbateman

The digital world has turned communications on its head and made everyone publishers and communicators. Simple media has become complex and a multi-media minefield. This means that the “Public Relations” industry needs to adapt to this new mobile and social web that is global and in real time. Fast evolving technology has also provided the tools and platforms to talk to the world at scale.

So PR is no longer just an art…. but a science. So in 2016 what does PR need to embrace and implement for themselves and their clients?

It needs to continue innovate so it can manage the splintered media world we now live in that is made of many moving parts. This means adopting digital technology and big data strategies that provides monitoring and communication at scale and simplified with automation.

If you don’t then you are at risk of becoming irrelevant and a dinosaur.

Jeff Bullas, Blogger, Author, Strategist and Speaker,
Follow on Twitter@jeffbullas

I expect to see hybrid roles and/or teams develop that converges data science with more customized social metrics. The role of cognitive computing will become more and more important as companies continue to seek a deeper understanding of the dynamics of building relevance and relationships in a rapidly augmented (reality) world. I’m thinking this would fit under something like the ABC’s of PR. Awareness. Branding. Cognition., but I’m sure that’s been said before.

Carmen Villadar, Futurist, #AIoT
Follow on Twitter: @digitalfemme