A No-Fear Year

Well I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for a few days rest. It has been another long and challenging year for most in the public relations business, but in the UK particularly, 2012 has been the mother of PR years.

The reasons are pretty obvious aren’t they? The first London Olympics since 1948, the most elaborately-organised Olympic and Paralympic Games ever (sorry Australians, I know that might rankle), an economy that remains badly bruised, a media going through breakneck change and a PR sector that responded well in the all those circumstances. At least we had a few days of British summer in the midst of it all. Sort of.

It’s no wonder that as we compose ourselves after a breathless 2012, next year holds several big questionmarks. We won’t have an Olympics to focus spend and cause an unprecedented media diversion in 2013. The economy won’t bounce back rapidly just because the year has changed, so don’t expect a post-Christmas miracle there. And don’t expect media evolution to take a break just so it’s a little easier for us to keep up with it.

I’ve been trying to ignore the columns and blog posts about predictions for next year as most don’t really say much. Instead of thinking about what the PR market is going to be like and what we’re really going to need to concentrate on next year, I’ve been thinking more about what we don’t need.

It’s fear.

Few of us really know how next year will shape up. We were in a similar position this time last year, when the Olympics, economy and media remained a big unknown.

So the worst thing we can possibly do is be scared of what lies ahead. To make PR really succeed, it’s going to need people to be fearless about gaining cut-through in changing media, fearless about making recommendations to clients and prospects in a challenging market, and fearless about making the growing value of PR as a commercial asset crystal clear to those who need it most.

It’s pretty clear to me what the primary New Year’s Resolution should be.

Give up fear. It’s bad for us.

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