Look Back and Look Ahead: A Year-End Reflection on the World of PR by Emerging Communicators

To say a LOT has happened — and shifted — in 2017 is an understatement.

From evolutions in cultural norms, business norms, digital norms and beyond, the PR industry actively adapts communication approaches in response to change, and for PR professionals working at their first agency, this year involved all sorts of learning!

Below, some Vanguardians who are new to “agency life” — Meredith Harris, Allyson Singh, Catie Carreras and Catherine Turvey — share their year-end reflections on the world of PR, and what they’re looking forward to next year.

What did you learn about PR this year?

“I learned about the many tools that are available to help PR professionals track success and create the most effective campaigns.”

“I’ve learned that the world of PR is much more involved than I ever thought possible, covering needs from digital media content strategies and partnership engagement, to the design, organization and implementation of entire events. I’ve been able to see each of these pieces come to life and have been part of each of them in some capacity.”

“In 2017, many organizations tried to incorporate messages about social good into their campaigns. These attempts backfired if consumers felt companies trivialized serious issues. They remind me that today’s audiences demand authenticity.”

“I’ve realized that PR is not all about press releases, brand management and running events. The biggest thing I learned this year was that contracts have a lot of layers and being good at managing projects is a prerequisite — it’s not enough to just be good at PR strategy.”

What do you look forward to for the PR industry in 2018?

“I am looking forward to seeing the new platforms and changes to existing ones that are introduced in 2018. With the recent changes in Twitter (280-word count), Snapchat (streamlining all contacts) and Instagram (the Instagram Story came out in 2017), I can only imagine what will come in the new year.”

“I look forward to seeing more of a shift from print to digital in 2018. Many organizations still rely heavily on printed materials. While hard copies have a purpose, I look forward helping our clients see the value of digital content so we can reach a wider audience.”

“I hope that Vanguard — along with other agencies with the same mission of bringing about positive social change — will make an even bigger positive impact on the important issues that our society faces today. Reaching audiences is critical to making a difference with the work we do, and I believe the advances in technology and the use of social media with every passing year will be beneficial in shaping outcomes.”

“Distrust of large media outlets seems to be growing. I’m looking forward to seeing how PR professionals work with bloggers, influencers and other news outlets to share stories in 2018!”

Until Next Year!