As part of our overview of 2022 and look forward to what is coming up for the communications industry this year, we asked the PR community what lessons they will be taking forward into 2023.
If you have not yet decided on a New Year’s Resolution, or would just like to set some goals before you get back into work, here are a few ideas:
‘Take a stand for what you believe in and supporting your personal values.
‘Never be scared to ask questions.
‘Invest in yourself.’
‘A lesson I’ll be taking forward into 2023 is that as communications professionals, we have a unique ability to be agile and versatile in an ever-changing and unpredictable environment, responding to evolving client needs and underpinning our value.’
Barbara Phillips, chair of PRCA’s Race & Ethnicity Equity Board and director of Brownstone
‘If it’s not for you, then walk away. And (as usual), never underestimate the power of desire. Everything that is happening in our industry and globally in society, good but mainly bad, is because a group of people somewhere want it to be exactly that.’
Matt Wilson, media and public affairs manager for Advertising Standards Authority (ASA)
‘Good comms delivers in multiple ways for an organisation – stakeholder/audience awareness, enhanced reputation, brand trust, authenticity – and the more understanding/buy-in you have internally of that, the better. Explaining and demonstrating to your colleagues why comms matters helps them better understand PR value and the importance of integrating comms into project planning at the start, not the end.’
Rob Skinner, MD of Skout
‘Don’t do good, socially conscious things as a business, then hide it from view. Equally, don’t flag wave – treat your purpose-based comms as an opportunity to share insights to help others rather than gain publicity and kudos, which comes as a by-product anyway.’
Mollie Haley-Earnshaw, PR Account Manager at Wild PR
‘I think PRs should really focus on forming strong relationships with journalists. You’d think this goes without saying; however, when PRs are outreaching to hundreds of journalists, this becomes difficult. Some ways to do this could be introducing yourself to the journalists on Twitter (or over email) with who you are and the types of information you may be able to provide for them in the future. If you’re up to date on what they’re writing and what interests them, and you can convey this in your intro email, they might be happier to collaborate with you on your future PR campaigns.’
Nick Owens, founder of WTS MEDIA
‘Challenge always brings opportunity. Even during a cost-of-living crisis huge opportunities exist for those who can execute strong PR campaigns. There may also be occasions where clients need to take a break from PR and comms, in order to get through a tough period. Aim to end on good terms, because the cost-of-living crisis will end, and clients will often want to re-engage with PR. Be there for them when they do.’
George Buchan, director of research at Charlesbye Strategy
‘As fuel bills continue to rise, war rages in Ukraine and there are no signs of the climate debate concluding; opportunities for comms and PR are everywhere. What messages can be deployed to defend the UK Government’s continued aid to Ukraine when the NHS is struggling over winter? How do we keep the public’s attention on dealing with climate change when heating their own home is the immediate priority? The world in 2023 is the communicator’s oyster.’
To help you plan for 2023’s big challenges and opportunities, check out these 15 trends for the industry from 22 experts working across PR, comms, marketing, public affairs and politics.