10 Dec Hopes and Dreams for 2015
The end of the year tends to make us all reflect a bit. We look back on the past 12 months, assess what we experienced and learned, and wonder what those things will translate into next year.
I think that’s one of the reasons why predictions blogs are so popular. It’s fun to apply what we’ve learned from our recent experiences and turn that knowledge into foresight that’s based on actual evidence.
But there’s a difference between what we think will happen and what we hope will happen. Not to sound too Winnie the Pooh-ish, but sometimes the “hoping” and the “thinking” parts do not necessarily correspond with each other. For instance, we may hope to see enormous economic growth in 2015, but that doesn’t necessarily mean we think it will happen.
We can still hope, though. And so, instead of telling you what I think will happen in 2015, I want to share with you some thoughts on things I hope will happen.
I hope we all take a few minutes to slow down.
I love the efficiency that technology and social media affords just as much as the next person. But sometimes I cannot help but to think it would be best if we tried to slow things down a bit.
For example, many of us have come to rely on Twitter as a primary news source. I find this somewhat dangerous (and I love Twitter, by the way). Twitter is the poster child for our speed-driven, always moving society. We get news bytes in 140 characters or less.
That’s great in some ways – quick knowledge, for one – but very bad in others. It’s hard to get a fully digested news story in that type of environment, yet easy for the ones that are writing the stories to get the facts wrong (or at least not get all of the facts).
It’s better for everyone – businesses, consumers, bloggers, etc. – if stories are complete, accurate, and informative. That takes time, but it’s time that’s often well worth it.
I hope we can break out of our boxes.
Over the past year, we’ve seen some desperate moves from a few companies that have had their backs pushed against the wall. Most of these moves have paid off, at least to a degree. For example, T-Mobile continued to rebrand itself under the “uncarrier” banner, which led to an increase in subscribers and the need for competitors to step up their games. And software giant Microsoft was forced to reinvent the way that it distributed software, adopting a subscription as opposed to licensing model.
Organizations that step outside of their comfort zones are often applauded by investors, customers, and the media. It doesn’t always work, but when it does, it can pay big dividends. At the very least, it gives people something to talk about, and that’s a valuable commodity in a world where far too often everyone seems to be doing and saying the same thing.
I don’t want to see more companies have their backs against the wall in 2015, but I would love it if, everyday, organizations act like they’re on the ropes. That type of attitude keeps organizations on their toes, and it certainly keeps things interesting from a PR perspective.
I hope we can word things differently.
I mean this literally.
There’s a tool that some journalists use called PR Buzzsaw. Its sole purpose is to eliminate from press releases certain words and phrases that have become clichéd or simply have no real meaning. Words like “robust,” “seamless,” “mission-critical,” and others are routinely caught by the Buzzsaw. It’s an awesome tool that literally cuts out the crap.
In 2015, I hope we can all implement our own personal PR Buzzsaw’s when writing content, not just press releases, but blogs, articles, and other communications tools. Let’s be sure to write content that’s meaningful and says things in interesting ways.
Dare I say, let’s have fun with the stuff we write. If you’re writing the thousandth article about the growth of the cloud, don’t be afraid to throw in an obscure reference to an event that happened during the French Revolution, if you can find a connection. Or quote your favorite comedian, or line from The Simpsons.
While business and technology may be many things, they’re hardly ever boring. The words that accompany those two topics don’t need to be boring, either.
I hope everyone has the best year ever.
This goes without saying. I truly hope all of you reading this – clients, fellow SpeakerBoxers, or idle passersby who may have stumbled on this by Googling “2015 PR predictions” – have the best, most fruitful, and enjoyable year ever.
Here’s to a great – and hopeful – 2015.