We are just hours away from seeing the end of 2012 and the arrival of 2013. The New Year really provides us with an opportunity to draw an end to some things and to start new things. Many people will be considering their resolutions which for many will probably include eating less and exercising more. I avoid resolutions myself but my thoughts have turned to what we will see less of or more of in communication in the coming 12 months. They are predictions based on my thoughts and as I am not psychic there will not be money on them coming true.
- More people, more connected – the growth in social media will continue as more people have access to mobile technology and are comfortable in using social network and online applications.
- Eyewitness accounts – with the expanding use of mobile technology there will be few, if any, major incidents or events that are not captured on shared through social networks and ultimately the media. So-called ‘citizen journalism’ will continue to grow and be seen more as just daily life.
- Expanding use of images – with the ever-expanding range of photography apps and social networks including Flickr and Pinterest images will replace words. Apps such as EyeEm could grow particularly in relation to capturing events.
- Valuing face-to-face contact – although it is time-consuming maximising opportunities for direct communication and conversations will be prioritised. It can strengthen the brand or image of the organisation as well tackle service issues.
- If it doesn’t work don’t do it – as the budgets are squeezed still further the ability to be able to show the benefits from communication activity will be even more important. This is for all forms of communication, staff time, publicity material, use of social networks. Results matter.
- Media frenzies will continue – there will be further shock and scandal expounded by the media about a whole range of businesses, industries and individuals. The media will find more things to be outraged about on behalf of the public.
- More demanding – the public are becoming used to having a direct line to businesses and organisations through social media. They expect to get immediate answers to questions and have problems solved 24 hours a day. The demands they make for this high level of service are sure to continue in the coming months.
- Faster paced – if you thought the pace of life in 2012 was fast just wait until we hit 2013 and we have more technological advances, more affordable technology and more people able and willing to use it. There will be no slowing down the speed of modern life.
The past 12 months have been a challenging but exciting and rewarding time. 2013 provides even more opportunities for people who are lucky enough to be working in communication roles. We just need to take a deep breath and plunge in.