15 PR trends in 2012 that need to be on your public relations radar

December 15, 2011

Gregory FCA’s annual list confirms and uncovers what’s in store for the new year

There’s no shortage of predictions this time of year about the top public relations trends that PR firms need to be paying attention to. As with any annual outlook, some of these predictions are obvious, others not so much. Then again, “obvious” is in the eye of the beholder.

With that in mind, I asked some of our best and brightest minds within the firm to share with our blog audience what they consider to be the most important public relations trends in 2012. I’ll be sharing them with you over my next three posts, starting with Mike Lizun, Senior Vice President of Public Relations, who looks at the world through a media lens.

Gregory FCA’s Mike Lizun


1. Mobile, mobile, mobile, and news apps. News curation apps (Flipboard, Zite, Google Currents, Pulse) for mobile and tablets will continue to drive media consumption and become even more important as a means to distribute the news for news organizations. As more of the population adopts mobile and tablet reading as the preferred way to read news, those without a key curation partner or clear mobile strategy will become less relevant.

2. Second screen anyone? Mobile devices will increasingly be used as second screens while watching TV. What are consumers doing with these second screens? News and social media top the list of what people are viewing on mobile devices, which will lead to a shakeout among smaller, less-known social and news providers; and a rise in apps that partner with media, such as IntoNow (Yahoo!), Get Glue (Travel Channel), and others.

3. What’s on the web tonight? Web content as new TV channels will also see continued growth and adoption. YouTube is now a channel; other web content is available on smart TVs; and Internet-connected TVs will grow as consumers seek to marry their web and TV experience, meaning, web-content broadcast on their TVs. TV as we know it will change forever in 2012, as the channel becomes the media.

4. I should have created that Twitter account three years ago when you told me to. Subject-matter experts will need to stand out on social platforms in 2012, such as Twitter and Facebook. Media will continue to seek out experts and information on the major social information channels.

5. Most-followed media. Reporters tied to large media organizations will put more focus on their individual social channels to attract readers to their stories, and the larger media organization as a whole. The top personal media brands will continue to separate the media all-stars from the rest of the pack, and technology such as Facebook Subscribe will accelerate that in 2012. The result: More consumers will follow individual media personalities in 2012. Some individual reporters and authors might soon out-rank their media organizations, and media without such all-stars will continue to seek out individuals with large followings and perceived influence.

6. Niche stories within niche media will regain importance. This will happen as companies realize they can reach their targeted audience on the web and through associated mobile, email, and social channels more successfully than through a once-a-year mention in a single media point.

7. If it’s not online, did it really happen? Trade media without a strong online and mobile presence will continue their demise.

8. Some media will completely stop chasing daily headline page views and page view journalism, and go to theme-based publishing. Fortune Magazine will go this route with all 18 issues in 2012, transitioning to long-form journalism and theme-based issues, which are attractive to advertisers.

9. Be the media. In 2012, more brands will publish than ever before and look to create media, hire media, and recreate the current success of today’s born-on-the-web, web-based media.

My next post will feature two PR trends predicted by Kwan Morrow, who sees the world from a social networking perspective. Lastly I’ll be posting four PR trends on the radar of Rich Levin, who looks at the world through a social content development lens.

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