Communication Trends of 2012: Need to Know

After reading several articles from socialmediatoday.com, mashable.com and others I’ve decided to round out my COS blogging contribution by highlighting some major industry trends that have started to transpire, or some that might. Most of the changes in the industry, they suggest, are attributed to advancements in technologies.

1. The Shift to Digital

More companies are  giving priority to their digital media marketing and communications before their traditional print media. Case in point: news organizations. More people are flocking to the Internet and it provides more flexibility for news networks as well. Some call that a #nobrainer

2. Decentralization of Social Media

People are becoming more and more competent on social media and realizing that it is no longer acceptable to limit organizational members from participating.  According to Paul Holmes, “the more consistent a company’s message, the less authentic it sounds. […] Any consistency should be organic – a natural result of shared values and cultural cohesion, rather than imposed by the message police.” As mentioned in mine and @Tatjana’s #PC8005 seminar, the key to success is empowering staff members by educating them on social media and ensuring that they understand the company values and they ought to be portrayed. Censoring employees will only result in resentment, which can backfire.

3. On the Go

Mobile, mobile, mobile is the biggest adjustment that communication professionals need to make because everything is going mobile. Don’t believe me?  Check out this #shocking slideshare. Yes, I sometimes hashtag my blog. That might warrant its own category…next year. Social Media Today maintains that this is because of convenience, context and fun. Mobile is convenient. It enables people to be connected ‘24/7’ and, as a result, work more efficiently. Finally mobile is fun…because, well….it’s fun.

4. Playtime

Consumers need more enticement than ever when it comes to mobile phones, which means communications and PR specialist must find creative ways to engage their audience. Make digital media a game. What do I mean by that? Check out how BMW turned a Mini Cooper giveaway into a real life game of manhunt. Mobile media has become more than inviting the public to scan a QR code that takes you to their company website. Consumers are more adept with the technology and expect more out of communications professionals. To be successful, we must exceed those expectations.

5. It’s a Brand New World

My personal favorite, is the shift towards companies thinking and acting like journalists. It relates back to a Web 2.0 concept that instead of being a consumer or a producer companies must all think like “prosumers”. In a nutshell, tell stories about your company. Be modest, unbiased and critical of yourself when need be. Nissan was one of the first companies to participate in brand journalism. What does this tell communication professionals? Start thinking like a journalist. Tell your company’s stories.