Put Away the Toys, It’s Now Time to be Accountable

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‘Tis the season for predictions. I always enjoy this time of the year, reading and listening to what industry professionals and talking heads project will be the hot topics for the next year and what everyone should be looking at and concentrating on for success. I have read a lot of articles that speculate what themes and strategies are front and center for 2012 and where we can expect the market to turn. Most of what I have read seems spot on, like Affect’s 2012 predictions that:

  • E-mail pitches will decline in favor of social media pitches
  • More businesses will use Google + to extend their reach
  • Measurement is a must
  • Small is the new big – (brands will put a premium on niche media that speaks directly to their target audiences)

or Michael Schechter’s view that we should be looking to build tighter networks in 2012. I have also been reading a lot about brands becoming the media and how companies should be actively creating and cultivating content marketing to boost SEO, enhance customer relationship management, and promote lead generation. What is clear is that tomorrow’s social media and PR pro must be even more adept at multiple disciplines, especially writing and creative development.

One thing that’s obvious is that we have entered an era where managers, Directors, VP’s and the C-suite will not only expect us to be content creators/curators, lead generation machines, influencers, customer service experts and visionaries but they will also expect us to develop an analytics and measurement system that demonstrates whether our efforts are effective.

Gone are the days where PR and social media pros are handed the reins with no expectations that our efforts will bear any fruit. Say goodbye to blank checks. We have sailed past the days of experimentation and testing and arrived at the land of measured results which means those who aren’t prepared in 2012 to demonstrate outcomes through analytics that point to success or desired strategy changes could find themselves looking for work or downgraded to a grunt position that isn’t held accountable.

The mantra for 2012 is accountability.

Be prepared to prove that your strategies and tactics are successful or show measurement data that points to needed tweaks and adjustments to improve results. If you haven’t instituted an analytics program, there is no need to panic. There are many resources available to get started and a lot of people out there offering advice to help you along the way. The key is to start now, and measure what matters. Time to get off the sidelines and into the game.

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  • http://prbreakfastclub.com/ Keith Trivitt

    What a spot-on point this is: “The mantra for 2012 is accountability.” You are absolutely right, John. And I’d extend this a bit further than accountability in terms of showing our value.

    I’d take to that accountability to the public, to the business community and to others as to PR’s complete business value and its ability to achieve that value in a professional, transparent and ethical manner.

    Combining all of those elements – high professional standards, ethical conduct, transparency and proving our ROI – is, in my estimation, the type of accountability that the PR industry should be aiming to achieve.

    And you have done a very nice job of getting this conversation started.

    • http://twitter.com/John_Trader1 John Trader

      Thanks for the comments Keith and you are right. It seems like 2011 ushered in a new era of ethics and professionalism (despite some minor blips on the radar and bad apples among the good) for PR in that not only should we be more accountable, but justify our efforts by proving that they are indeed effective as you point out. 

      What an exciting time to be a PR pro, through the efforts of PRSA and other orgs, we are turning a corner to establish more credibility for an industry that has had a tough rap over the years.

      Thanks again for taking time to voice your thoughts!