Svetlana Sverchkova, Managing Director in Mainstream Communication & Consulting, shared with MMR her vision of the main PR tendencies and trends. Please, read below the article. The full text of the article was published in the magazine Marketing Media Review for September-October 2013.
Only when the time passes, one may appreciate the quality of changes and evaluate them – if they are for the better. But it is necessary to consider changes, otherwise it’s impossible to remain in business. What are the changes in the market of communication services of this year and what to expect tomorrow?
Main trends of Ukrainian economy are undoubtedly the major factors of influence on the market of PR-services this year.
Moreover, the recent events in the media market led to danger of reduction of independent media platforms, which may be counted on the fingers of one hand today. The main trend of this year is media assets accumulation for elections in 2015. As far as I known, concentration of media, including TV outlets, in hands of two-three economic groups will continue and all planned transactions may be completed by the end of the first or even second quarter 2014.
The second trend is mass media switching to the “digit”. In a year or two, digital broadcasting will prevail both in text and TV formats. Already today such corporations as Sony, Samsung and Apple have found a special platform, which will contain newspaper and TV formats, will be easily readable, a mobile “TV-newspaper of future”.
This year was rather difficult for the market of communication services. Those who deny this are insincere. There are several objective reasons for this. Firstly, if companies discussed development of communication strategies last year, this year budgets were cut in several directions at once. The reasons are simple – the companies working with the end user decided to keep advertising budgets and to implement a part of BTL activities using own resources. PR was pushed to the section “miscellaneous”. Today, speaking about clients and projects, one may apply a Donetsk by-word saying, “We will provide country with coal – fine but in big quantities.”
Analysing the trends in the media market, one may conclude that the work in 2014 won’t get easier. The most pessimistic outlook is as follows: small PR agencies will scale down their activities or they will be compelled to reduce the personnel significantly.
Today, the event market of Ukraine, in our opinion, undergoes natural changes as well. We would like to emphasise several processes that are already influencing the market today and will be developing in future. The major changes regard the types of events conducted.
Over the last year, significantly increased the number of events aimed at the end user. The market of internal events reduced, just like the budgets on corporate events.
This year the concept of a “special event” has changed. Some companies found an easy solution: they collect ideas from agencies during tenders and conduct events independently. As a result, many of them, despite a “hip of ideas”, had a “sparing year, in the atmosphere of the nineties (steal ideas, they cost nothing)”. Others consider that a pop-star performance with the banner of the company in the background is a tremendous success, especially if “director is pleased”. The third decided to “entice away” event specialists in order to receive the initially declared event but for half budget. This is how the term “chiconomy” appeared in our professional slang – to save on expenditures but to conduct with “chic”. This process triggered a wave of protests in the market. “We have decided to sell our services only to those who can appreciate them,” company Partysons Creative Agency wrote on its Facebook page. More and more event companies, which learned appreciating their creativity and time, follow their example.
Next year companies will continue reducing expenditures and saving. Therefore, the tendency of events’ carrying out using own resources will continue and this will negatively affect the quality of events and their efficiency. Among solutions, to which companies will resort, will be employment of “in-house” event specialists. However, in most cases, these people are far from the event market.
It should be noted that the event market becomes more niche-oriented. Many event companies have already went this way and fixed in the certain segments or changed focus areas. Next year companies would have to make a choice: find a niche or leave.
In view of boom of national journalism and blogging, the level of trust to social media increased essentially. In the nearest future, they will be no longer called new media, as they will be used on a par with traditional PR tools, pushing away the official websites of mass media and companies.
Communicational dynamics will urge brand representatives to speed up decision-making, content coordination in real time because the information relevance and time for response will be measured in minutes if not seconds. Because if companies and brands are losing momentum, users will steal the initiative instantly and it will be much more difficult to resume control over the process.
Tactics of graded approach to the consumed information on the part of readers will amplify next year. Therefore, the demand for data visualisation of as way of communicating the information will increase essentially. In 80% of cases, the information draws users’ attention only due to a “catchy” picture. Representation of difficult processes in the form of simple pictures wins over users with simplicity of information feed and promotes its easy memorising. This process will turn into a key instrument in struggle for attention of a modern reader.
By the way, social networks witnessed the trend of corporate content Ukrainisation recently. Despite the fact that the Russian-language media still prevail in Ukraine, the increasing number of domestic companies prefer communicating with consumers in the official language, not to offend Ukrainian users and not to harm the company brand.