Public Relations – Looking Back and The Year Ahead

For a few weeks, a variety of outlets have weighed in with their thoughts about the biggest, the best, the worst, and the most notable of 2010. For Mediabistro’s Morning Media Menu, we offered our list of the top five PR stories of the year (in no particular order):

-BP and its handling of the Gulf oil spill (both internally and externally)
Mark Zuckerberg’s turnaround in the media and the continued growth of Facebook
-The Tiger Woods debacle and his thus far failed comeback
-The crisis comms implications of WikiLeaks
-And Gap’s logo-gate

With our feet firmly planted in 2011, just as many websites and outlets are making their predictions for 2011. After the jump, a few worth noting, as well as our thoughts about five things to watch for.

From our vantage point and, again, in no particular order, here are five things to watch in 2011:

-Increased use of social commerce, like Groupon, as a PR tool.

-This holiday season, shoppers, retailers, and reporters took notice of the use and convenience of shopping with a smartphone in hand. We’ve also heard just this week that location technology use is only in its beginning stages. Add the innovation waiting to be discovered and the consumers that will upgrade their mobile devices this year, and you’ll see continued growth of mobile marketing and outreach.

-With the 2010 Census showing the growth in the Latino population, more brands, companies, and organizations will be looking to reach this demographic. Taking it a step further, multicultural audiences as a whole will be important targets. Building teams with experience and thought leadership to reach these audiences will be important.

-Disgruntled employees, hackers, leaks, over-sharers, and plain old mistakes made PR pros with crisis management know-how sources for both clients and the media. Savvy crisis comms pros will continue to be highly sought after for advice to avoid or clean up PR mishaps.

-Everyone can use Facebook, Twitter, traditional media, and other tools to tap everyone. This year, publicists and brands will have a laser focus on rising above the fray to identify and reach those choice influencers.

For other thoughts on what will impact technology, health care, politics, Wall Street, and pop culture this year, click the links in this sentence. And if you’d like to share your predictions, the comments are open.