The Rush to New Platforms Is Over, Write and Pitch Better in 2017

Michael Smart, Principal, Michael Smart PR   

In recent years, you’ve likely turned to prediction columns like this one at the start of a new calendar wondering about investing time and attention in specific platforms.

“Is this the year Snapchat becomes ubiquitous?” you might be asking today. IBM’s digital experience manager Brandi Boatner predicted in these pages last week that 2017 will be the year that Facebook Live really takes off. That’s a very reasonable prognostication given the additions Facebook has been making to this feautre. So were some of the other predictions, from Boatner and others, such as one attorney Allison Fitzpatrick of Davis & Gilbert LLP made here that envisions PR pros being involved increasingly in responding to fake news on various platforms.
The Land Rush is Done
My take on the new year is different, though: 2017 will be when we realize that the land rush associated with new channels and platforms is over, and we no longer have excuses for not focusing on the key elements that drove PR for the century before digital media: quality and credibility.

Yes, we’re at the tail end of a few years’ window when you could get ahead simply by posting more frequently to your brand journalism site than the laggards. Google rewarded sheer quantity.

And you could get a bunch of free followers by jumping onto Facebook before your competitors, and then Twitter, and to some extent Instagram. This channel-hopping seemed like the new normal. But in the grand scheme of the history of marketing, it will be viewed as an outlier on the front end of the digital revolution, where fundamental rules got bent for a while.

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