2016 was a year of unprecedented change for our industry, with high-stakes battles over the Affordable Care Act, Medicare and Medicaid, culminating in a watershed presidential election. And, if the first few weeks of 2017 are any predictor, healthcare communications is heading into another turbulent, exciting, and pivotal period.
To keep up with the relentless pace of change, public relations agencies are facing multiple challenges, all providing us opportunities to grow, evolve, and strengthen PR’s value to clients, colleagues, and stakeholders.
Here are my top five trends for public relations strategists to focus on in the new year:
Demonstrating that PR is helping to achieve business goals will be more important than ever.
Beyond the numbers of impressions and engagements, what are we really getting for our PR dollars? How do we clearly show that we are having an impact?
Client demand for thought leadership will continue to grow.
More and more, CEOs are being tasked by their Boards with developing a national reputation and becoming positioned as industry thought leaders. The PR team will spend more time in this area securing national media interviews, speaking engagements, and identifying editorial opportunities.
Digital amplification will be a crucial core component of every healthcare PR campaign.
It boosts the impact of PR strategies and demonstrates results with engagement and reach.
The ROI of branded content will be held under a microscope.
We know the potential reach is there, but does it substantially drive engagement and spur action? Or is it just an attempted substitute for a lack of results with earned media?
The RFP process will be more scrutinized.
Clients are concerned with getting the maximum amount of value from their tightened PR budgets. The current cattle call for proposals and presentations often doesn’t result in a win for clients.
So, more than ever, we will all be tested to prove our worth, and we’ll have to make sure that we are ready for just about anything…
About the author: Sharon Reis is founder and principal of The Reis Group. With more than 20 years of experience in public relations and healthcare communications, she combines strategic thinking, media-relations skills, and savvy messaging to produce high-impact work. Sharon can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.