Be prepared for 2014 by understanding latest trends in key sectors

What are going to be the biggest trends and issues affecting you this year?

According to a recent guide from the CIPR, #PR2014, there are plenty of threats and opportunities in many sectors.

Here are the key issues highlighted:


Key issues

Construction and property

1. More pressures on the trade press

2. Increasing powers of social media

Corporate and financial

1. Changing attitudes of financial regulators to social media

2. Proving the ROI of PR work

Education and skills

1. Greater pressure for institutions to manage their reputations

2. More emphasis on vocational education and apprenticeships

Charity and not-for-profit

1. Strategic planning

2. Fundraising and PR working together

Public affairs

1. The rise of digital channels

2. The threat of greater regulation

Health and medical

1. More complex regulation

2. The financial squeeze on resources

Local public services

1. Continued push to digital

2. Greater restrictions

Marketing communications

1. Producing original content

2. Real-time communication

Science, technology, engineering and maths

1. Engineering becoming a driver of the economy

2. PR facing problems of funding

The two issues that are mentioned most often are the demands that social media is placing on PROs, and the introduction of burdensome regulation.

For some sectors, keeping up with digital media is a particular challenge. Daniel Gerella, secretary of CIPR construction and property, says: “As a traditional sector, construction has been slower than most to adopt a true appreciation and use of social media. Digital communications is seen as niche and there is a useful gap for people willing to take up the challenge. The audience has more control over media consumption, with portable devices changing the style of communication required.”

“For the construction industry there are two immediate benefits. First, it provides an opportunity for firms to differentiate themselves and engage directly with audiences. Second, and from a more inward-facing perspective, it can play an important role in attracting new recruits.”

One sector that faces greater regulation is public affairs. Phil Morgan, director of CIPR policy and communication, explains: “Public affairs professionals are facing the thin end of the regulatory wedge in 2014 with the introduction of a register of consultant lobbyists set to pass its final legislative hurdles. Although the register is intended not to excessively burden the few lobbyists it may capture, there is a possibility that the result will be unsustainably small and that it will not meet the expectation that it should to increase public knowledge and understanding of lobbying activity. To head off future regulatory action, it is imperative that more lobbyists address their own professional standards. We must demonstrate that we can effectively self-regulate.”                                                                                                        

More information

A copy of the CIPR document can be downloaded directly from Slideshare.

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