With four in 10 Americans with at least one social networking profile, companies will increasingly be looking to social networking sites to engage employees and customers. This isn’t just a U.S. phenomenon: in Europe, internal communication and social networks are on the rise. According to The Global Intranet Trends for 2010 report, just out, one-fourth to one-third of organizations with some form of social media have experienced three general benefits: increased employee engagement, more effective knowledge sharing and better informed employees. Writers who know to write for interactive media will be in demand.
Prove ROI, Provide Strategic Counsel:
The majority of communication departments will face some budget cuts in 2010. Survival and success increasingly will be tied to showing tangible returns on investment. A bright spot, however, was articulated by Sandy Lish, founding partner of The Castle Group, who stated in PR Week’s Dec. 10 issue, “There are more PR consulting opportunities related to strategy, perhaps the result of corporations retaining more junior staff, yet recognizing they need senior counsel.”
Stand Out in Crowded Writing Market:
The demise of significant numbers of print papers will bring more freelancers into the market, so expect to see more competition for writing jobs. Set yourself apart from the masses by showcasing specialized industry expertise and specific writing niches. On the other side of communications, PR pros trying to place stories among thinning newsrooms will find themselves starting over and exercising patience with increasingly junior reporters who have a significant knowledge gap.
2010, being the international year of biodiversity, will find more organizations focusing on increasing their sustainability efforts. According to Melbourne, Australia, change management guru Jennifer Frahm: “It’s a fearsome change communication effort, changing long ingrained mindsets, habits and culture. Despite 2009 being the Year of the Generalist, if you can communicate science you will be a very hot property.” Frahm was describing one of five big change communication trends for next year. She advises that core skills will be crafting narratives of change, storytelling, and translation.
Embrace Good Writing — it’s still the gold standard: Helen Vollmer, writing in th e Dec. 15 PR Insider blog, urged communicators to not lose sight of the core writing fundamentals as we navigate the fast-paced and increasingly digital world. Vollmer, who leads the Southwest’s largest independent PR firm, cautioned: “Writing shouldn’t be the lost art of our profession. In fact, it should be elevated and revered. And whe ther writing a CEO’s speech, Web content, a Twitter post or a blog, such as this, we should all make a New Year’s resolution to love language. Let’s commit to finding the right words in our work, not just the jargon that’s so easily bandied about. And let’s demand from our colleagues and ourselves to engage in using words that move us to insight and action.” Well put.