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Public engagement and communications in 2018


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This deck was prepared for a workshop session with NHS comms directors hosted by NHS Providers in London on 25 January, 2018.
If there’s anything that I can do in my role at Ketchum to help your organisation address any of the issues highlighted, please let me know.

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Public engagement and communications in 2018

  1. 1. Public engagement in 2018 Stephen Waddington @wadds
  2. 2. #1 Professional status: public relations There’s a growing shift to public relations becoming recognised as a management discipline. The drum beat of professionalism in public relations has been getting louder over the past decade and has accelerated since the Bell Pottinger scandal this year (£). My view is that 2018 will prove to be a breakthrough year for the professionalism of public relations as a result of a concerted effort on a number of fronts. Source: Stephen Waddington
  3. 3. #2 All of the life is on the internet Social media is maturing. It is becoming increasingly visual and in the moment. Short video messaging is the current vogue. Platforms are copying features from each other in a bid to engage users for as long as possible. This emerging media environment faces challenges with fake news and transparency.
  4. 4. #3 Identifying audiences or publics Two billion monthly Facebook users generate a huge amount of data. The platform has become a powerful planning tool. But it’s not alone. Every post, click, like and comment that we leave on a social media platform leaves an audit trail. Public relations and marketing practitioners use this data to discover and identify audiences and publics, and understand their motivation. Source: Facebook Business
  5. 5. #4 Listening to conversations The application of data in public relations isn’t a new trend. What is new is the scale of data in public relations and the growing availability of third party tools that enable us to make sense of it. Practitioners need to be aware of the provenance of data and the ethical implications of using it to inform insights. Source: 25 things we learned analyzing billions of Tweets
  6. 6. #5 Tell me a story The craft of telling a story across different forms of media, and engaging a public, is more important than ever. It’s critical to cutting through a cluttered media environment. Creative and content, the keys to good storytelling, are frequently overlooked elements of public relations. They lie at the heart of inspiring conversations, and storytelling. Source: @MyDoncaster
  7. 7. #6 Shift to newsroom workflow Public relations operations have become more like traditional media operations in the last decade. The simple fact is that public relations practitioners don’t have hours to respond to an issue. It’s difficult and not always perfect but the organisations that are sufficiently brave, win. The skills, technology and workflow used in media and public relations are converging. Frequently people switch between the two disciplines. Source: How to build a newsroom or press office for the modern media environment
  8. 8. #7 Performance public relations Measurement should no longer be an issue within public relations. But outdated practices mean that practitioners remain wedded to old forms of measurements. Measurement is hard and so the public relations business has developed proxies for measurement. We’ll be taken serious as a discipline when we provide meaningful measurement that is aligned to the organisations that we serve. Source: AMEC
  9. 9. #8 Communities as media Community is a much abused and maligned word in this social media era. Create a Twitter hashtag, or build a Facebook or LinkedIn group, and people will come. Except they don’t. The internet is littered with failed community building efforts. Successful communities, online and offline, are co- created around a shared purpose.
  10. 10. #9 Leadership becomes social Executives that are serious about leading a modern organisation will invest in their social media footprint in 2018. 10 years ago executive profiling meant targeting features in the broadsheet and trade media. Today’s modern executive is more likely to seek support in optimising their social networks and content.
  11. 11. #10 Influencers: relationships vs reach Public relations in practice is evolving from media relations to influencer relations, and then from community management to social business. Each new form of media from Snapchat to YouTube, and Instagram to Twitter, has given rise to a new breed of influencers. Media relations has shifted from pitching traditional media to working with these individuals across all forms of media. Source: Influencer relations: the latest war between marketing and public relations
  12. 12. #11 Artificial intelligence normalised Artificial intelligence was the shiny new thing in public relations in 2017. I’ve been using artificial intelligence since I used WordPerfect 5.1 in the early 80s. In fact it’s never been bettered as a word processor. But we’re starting to feel the impact of machines in at least three areas: content production; content distribution and publication; and workflow.
  13. 13. #12 Fake news and brand misplacement There are two main purposes for fake news. The first is propaganda and the second is profiteering. We’ve only just started to understand how social media can be manipulated. In 2018 we need greater disclosure from social media platforms, more academic research, and the introduction of legislation to start to deal with this issue.
  14. 14. Thank you. Questions? This deck was prepared for a workshop session with NHS comms directors hosted by NHS Providers in London on 25 January, 2018. If there’s anything that I can do in my role at Ketchum to help your organisation address any of the issues highlighted, please let me know. Stephen Waddington Ketchum @wadds