As we exit the “oughttys” and are poised on the edge of the “teen” years of the new millennium, we can predict several technology PR-related trends and developments. These predictions will drive our clients business, our service to our clients – and since it’s the season to predict:
Cloud and mobile will be dominant coverage trends – with tablets right up there. This is no big surprise, as the momentum behind each of these technologies is already huge. However, the classic hype curve also suggests that skeptical stories may begin to drive more of the reporting next year. Key questions are whether the tablet will go the way of the netbook, if the service and bandwidth limitations will overshadow the cool apps, and if privacy, security and reliability will limit the cloud’s appeal.
Location-based technologies – and the stories that interest reporters – will move beyond fun-and-games to really useful applications. These will include more location-specific special offers, useful information for visitors and travelers, and location as an engine for meaningful social change.
Enterprise computing will claim more focus in coverage. After playing catch-up with consumer technology – both in adoption and in coverage – we think the pendulum will start to swing back in 2011. Corporations have more money to invest in technology, and it has been several years since a major enterprise upgrade occurred. Y2K anyone?
As IPOs continue to languish and investment options diminish – and as tech giants are less able to keep up the pace of innovation — consolidation will rise. We expect to see a big uptick in the number of tech acquisitions next year. 2011 may be the year for some game-changing buys: Facebook snaps up Yahoo? Microsoft springs for SAP?
Now for a real “inside PR” prediction: the coverage embargo strategy – releasing news to reporters with an agreement that the news will become public after a future date – has been severely undermined in recent years. This is due to a combination of factors – the somewhat artificial control of news, increasing emphasis from online news reporters on breaking news, and failures to control embargo timing. However, the reason for the embargo was to give reporters working on complex stories enough time to research, think and write without seeing their story scooped by their competitors. We think the embargo will be revived for selected journalists and stories. For others, in-depth and accurate stories will follow the initial bare-bones coverage.
The momentum for online tech sites – GigaOm, All Things D, ReadWriteWeb, Ttechcrunch and others — will accelerate with the new investments, increased hiring of stellar talent, and expanded scope of coverage.
Tech PR agencies will speed up the delivery of complementary services in 2011 – writing, video, digital and social media – as companies demand comprehensive strategies for new influence models.
Next, we’ll share our PR resolutions for 2011!