Zoe Ogilvie, BIG Partnership

Opinion: The key growth opportunities for PR in 2018

Zoe Ogilvie, director of BIG Partnership, outlines what she sees as the key growth areas for PR in 2018, including green energy, PR measurement, video content and more.

I’m not going to win any prizes for insight or originality by forecasting that the greatest growth for PR agencies in 2018 is going to come from the technology, healthcare, life sciences and consumer sectors. I might, however, surprise you by adding energy to these.

Based in Aberdeen – Europe’s oil capital, I have a background in hydrocarbons, so I’m an avid observer of trends in energy. With a focus on tackling climate change and a shift from a world powered by fossil fuels to one fuelled by technological advances in renewables, the global energy mix will continue to dominate the headlines in 2018.

Everyone, from NGOs to governments, companies and academics will need to have their communications strategies on this topic in place as both the developed and developing worlds seek a more sustainable future.

PR is ready to lead on marcomms strategies

With that said, and acknowledging the challenges in different sectors, the biggest opportunities for PR agencies will come from their ability to offer an integrated approach to clients. Those who cannot or have not evolved to offer the complete solution will be marginalised.

At BIG, we’ve been evolving for several years and are now reaping the rewards from our integrated approach which is centred on our founding principles of partnership, trust, creativity and results.

The role of the PR as the trusted adviser has never been more in demand. And once that status is achieved, it’s the foundation for long-term client relationships. It’s also the gateway to a broader remit and a seat at the boardroom table.

The good news for PRs in 2018 is that, in today’s digitally-driven world we are in pole position to lead on marcomms strategies. We can react quickly to design creative strategies that combine great content with our inherent story-telling ability and are focused on delivering measurable results.

Technology will help communicators deliver inspiring campaigns

Measurement and insight will be in even greater demand. Increasingly, clients will be seeking communications strategies and campaigns which are informed by insight and measured using sophisticated techniques.

For most PR agencies, creativity is a given. But content still remains too word-based when it must be much more visual. Video is key and that’s why we’ve invested in film makers and video production skills.

In the years ahead, there’s no doubt that consumers will be bombarded by ever more content with brands and organisations competing for their attention across a myriad of channels.

That’s why PRs who can deliver inspiring, relevant and entertaining content which gives their clients stand-out and a powerful voice will be the ones in demand. PRs who use content creatively to cut through all the noise and truly engage audiences and deliver results will be 2018’s winners.

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