Do you remember Reading Rainbow? I loved that show. LeVar Burton, the host, would close every episode with some recommended reading, submitted by viewers. He would always say ‘but you don’t have to take my word for it’ before they would cut to the reviewers.

It’s in that spirit that I offer up some thoughts on 2018. What are some emerging trends and issues that you need to keep an eye on as you prepare to hit the ground running? I have tapped into the incredible talent here at AKHIA to find out–what are they seeing, every day, that they want to share with you? What are some issues they feel you absolutely have to be paying attention to?

Every day this week I’ll share a take. These are all very relevant and definitely deserve to be on your radar. But remember…you don’t have to take my word for it.

The power of PR

Jodee Juarez, Senior Account Executive

In 2018, PR professionals are finally going to show exactly what PR can do—the value of media relations is the one big thing that I’m watching in the coming year and here’s why:

PR professionals must provide more meaningful results. Business executives need to see ROI and the industry is finally in a place to able to begin making this transition. Gone are the days of solely providing traditional PR metrics such as impressions and the occasional media values. While this interaction is still important to monitor (it’s this engagement that helps us refine our craft!), we now must also report on the long-term impact of PR efforts. By including trackable links back to the website (bonus for providing a lead-generation form on the landing page), we can start to track how PR leads prospects through the sales cycle and eventually how it results in dollars.

But this means that PR professionals must be able to work collaboratively with IT and have a seat at the table for strategic business planning. Without these key components, the PR strategy works in a silo and won’t deliver the results expected. When the PR strategy is integrated with larger initiatives, it’s easy to see just how valuable a tool that it can be for an organization. It’s up to PR professionals to educate company stakeholders, from HR to sales and everywhere in between, on how they can leverage PR, provide an effective strategy and in turn showcase its value with meaningful KPIs that demonstrate success.

I for one cannot wait to show what PR can do! Can you?