The evolution of the PR Industry

Isabel Tapp, CEO and Founder, AllDetails Middle East offers her thoughts on the evolution of the PR industry in the region and how PR agencies can adapt to the enormous changes today…

“I strongly believe that all good PR firms these days need to be integrated – incorporating a mixture of PR, marketing and social media as a bare minimum. Of course, this goes hand in hand with traditional specialisations of crisis communications and media relations.”

To put it simply, just as communication evolves, so must PR. I have been working in public relations and marketing my entire life, representing some of the world’s most prestigious brands and the way we worked a decade or so ago, is not the way we work now. Of course, the core principles of traditional PR remain the same, but as we have seen a rapid move to the digitalisation of the communications industry, thanks to both the internet and social media, our practices and strategies have also needed to move forward.

As the owner of an agency that specialises in public relations, I have made a conscious effort over the past few years to approach my recruitment process differently. Instead of solely looking to hire people with an extensive background in agencies, I am looking to hire a team with individual skill sets from a variety of backgrounds – I have qualified journalists and ex-editors forming the core of my senior management team, as well as staff experienced in graphic design, digital marketing and event management. It is because of this wide and varied skill sets amidst a relatively small team that we are able to call ourselves a multi-service communications agency or a hybrid, as I like to refer to us.

I strongly believe that all good PR firms these days need to be integrated – incorporating a mixture of PR, marketing and social media as a bare minimum. Of course, this goes hand in hand with traditional specialisations of crisis communications and media relations.

The principles of PR remain the same, but the change comes in the form of control and direction, by constructing communications strategies for clients that centre on content, both creation and distribution. This incorporates public relations, social media and marketing across traditional and new media and is something that all should be involved in, from the Communications Director to the junior account executives, each person bringing with them a fresh idea and different sense of perspective. The underlying motto does not change – ‘understand your audience’, this is the foundation for great content creation.

I have seen a greater need for having creative and innovative thinkers as part of a team – people that are up to date with current media and global trends, but also possess the foresight to see what is just around the corner and then construct creative strategies for clients in order to capitalise on these new developments. This is effective from not only a public relations point of view, but also a sales and marketing one – ultimately, what all clients want is more sales.

Content creation is key. Having good storytellers at the core creates good stories, whether this is through a traditional press release, social media or curated content for thought leadership – this is the reason why agencies should employ a multi-lingual team. With good content, amplifying it to the target audience is much easier and the creation of avenues for distribution / publication subsequently opens up. The great thing about the skill of storytelling is that with digital PR there are no creative boundaries – you can now engage in ways, which I would once have never imagined possible and that I think, is rather exciting.

We are witnessing a time-lapse view on changes to communication thanks to the rise of social media and the internet – it is now up to agencies to adapt and adapt quickly. For example, traditional print media which was once the core of public relations outreach, is now complemented online by a supporting website which also runs the content. This marks the change in which the world is now digesting information – thus, the internet is immediate.

By constantly adapting our skill sets, agencies are able to work in such a way that tactics of traditional public relations such as press release distribution, reputation management, event coordination and crisis communications are still valid, but now we need to understand SEO and measurable digital tactics too, in order to ensure that our clients get the maximum return on investment. Social media influencers are a great example of where PR teams have had to learn relatively quickly to understand and build contacts with an entirely different form of media altogether. These digital influencers can have just as much brand authority, sometimes even to a greater reach and engagement than traditional media and should not be ignored.

In my many years of working in PR, there has never been a more exciting or challenging time for communications professionals. Adaptability and flexibility must surely be the most important characteristics of any PR professional in this time of change and instantaneous information.

Under the influence

Farah Souhail, Marketing Manager at Meltwater, talks about how to make influencer marketing work more effectively….

Influencers are people that drive knowledge and opinion, they also have an ‘influence’ over their followers, hence their title. Influencers on social media pop up more and more every day and brands across the GCC as well as the wider MENA region have teamed up with many of them in an attempt to deliver their messages more effectively. However, identifying the right influencers and measuring Return On Investment (ROI) remains an area of struggle for many brands, both regionally and globally.

From a marketer’s perspective, there are a number of ways in which you can master influencer marketing; setting targets and understanding your influencer’s brand rank highly among these. Here are ten of the things that I believe marketers can do to master influencer marketing and ensure that they not only choose the best influencer for their brand, but utilise their skills and knowledge in the optimum way.

Define your goals

Define the objective(s) of your influencer outreach program. Are you looking to:

  • increase brand awareness?
  • generate leads/boost sales?
  • position yourself as a thought leader?
  • reach a new audience?
  • remain relevant among your target audience?

Defining your short term and long term goals will help you select the right influencer, design your campaign’s content, as well as the methods to track and measure the success of your influencer marketing strategy.

Remember – Influencers are brands too!
It is essential for marketers to understand that influencers – those who are on top of their game – are brands too! Influencers have a loud voice, a substantial audience and create high quality content which can inspire people to communicate and engage with them. They understand their follower base, what they are interested in and how to impact with them. Approach your influencer as a partner and brief him/her about your campaign objectives, timing and message delivery to ensure optimal alignment and control.

Authenticity and consistency should be key
As a marketer you have a story (narrative) that you want to communicate with your audience. Influencers are people who can narrate your story. Today’s media is in the control of the consumers and people online are not interested in the brand as much as in the people that they engage with. To attract your influencer’s audience and to achieve the desired behavioural response, your influencer’s content needs to be authentic, consistent and able to create an emotional connection. Immerse your story into the lifestyle of your engager and think of ways to create a meaningful content that has a lasting impact.

Ensure that you team up with the right influencer for the right campaign
Selecting the right influencer is an art that today’s marketers need to master. Don’t just look at numbers when considering an influencer. Go for people that are not only likeable and trustworthy but have a social proof, are able to drive engagement with their followers and are an authority in their field.

While influencer marketing often involves social media engagers, there are other types and categories for you to choose from including:

  • family and friends
  • industry experts
  • bloggers/vloggers and product reviewers
  • journalists and media professionals
  • celebrities

Your message, branding guidelines, tone of voice and campaign goals should be your compass when selecting the right influencer and remember, sometimes the less-obvious influencers can be a better fit for your brand and campaign objectives than those with the highest followings.

Don’t go for quick wins
To be liked and trusted by your influencer’s followers you need to connect your brand with the influencer’s lifestyle and overall brand image. Teaming up with your competitor’s influencer or randomly appearing on the timeline of your influencer’s followers via a tweet or a post will not have much of an impact in todays short memory span. Forge long term relationships with your influencer and help them to think strategically too, in order to help build consistency and trust. Think of ways to launch creative, memorable campaigns that help you engage more effectively with the audience to reap the desired ROI.

It is also important to see things from the perspective of your brand/influencer. As influencer marketing is a lot more personal and targeted than some forms of marketing, this point of view is invaluable when it comes to planning your campaign. A few things to take into consideration from this perspective would be:

Try to identify the right influencer for the right product and the right platform
Brands should not just look at numbers when selecting an influencer. There are other, more important factors that should determine who is the right influencer for your brand. Things to consider include:

  • influencer’s hobbies, interests and lifestyle
  • influencers that believe in your product or service
  • the platform(s) the influencer is active on

An influencer with a massive following on Facebook may not be the right engager if the majority of your audience happens to be on Twitter. Similarly, an influencer who pursues an active lifestyle and is known for his passion for outdoor adventures and technology may not be the right person for promoting a male moisturising product. Such an influencer may very well use a moisturiser in his daily life, yet his brand (lifestyle) and the content he creates may not be the right fit for your product.

Reciprocity should be key
As a marketer you need to help influencers give back to their followers. Think of ways you can add value to the influencer’s audience. Find out about your influencer’s hobbies and interests and those of their followers. Employ these insights to create ‘bespoke’ influencer content that resonates with their audience. Influencer content types that allow for reciprocity include:

  • special offers and discounts
  • access to exclusive events and positive experiences

– these could; include; movie premieres or product launches –

  • competitions and prizes

Work with influencers to create engaging, memorable content
Appearing randomly on an influencer’s timeline will not benefit anyone. Consumers are smart and can see immediately whether a post is organic or is pushed for commercial reasons. Approach your influencer as a partner with whom you can brainstorm and bounce ideas on how you can best deliver your message. Remember, your influencer understands their audience, what inspires them and how to engage with them effectively.

Always allow for creative freedom
Good influencers understand branding and are good at creating engaging content. Tell your influencer about your campaign, message and delivery guidelines and he/she will know how to deliver your message in the right way – the way that resonates with their followers. A highly polished image that doesn’t reflect the influencer’s lifestyle and personality will quickly be seen as an advertorial.

Make sure you define your campaign ROI
Brands are advised to define what they are aiming to achieve from an influencer outreach program before hiring an influencer. Many techniques have been used in influencer marketing to help brands measure their ROI, such as page views, demand generation and lead conversation that result in an increase in sale and impact revenue.

Define your campaign goals and matrix; then communicate that with your influencer so that everyone is aligned. Keep these points in mind and ensure that your influencer marketing campaign stays on-brand.

The write stuff

Angela Boshoff Hundal, Founder, Head of Copy and Creative Director at Scribe tells us why the art of copywriting should be embraced, rather than dismissed

“The value of carefully constructed and expertly crafted written language seems to have shrunk, which means that we’re all seeing (and getting) more and more emails, push notifications, SMS messages, marketing collateral and other written content containing atrocious spelling, shocking grammar and bad vocabulary.”

“You creative types are so misunderstood,” a man at a dinner party once said to me when I revealed that I was a copywriter. “What is it exactly that copywriters do again?”

It’s a fair question, and I don’t think he was being nasty or sarcastic when he asked it. He did look genuinely perplexed, which is why I didn’t mind explaining to him – and the rest of the dinner guests, who had all turned towards me like flowers to the sun – what exactly a copywriter does. “It’s simple really,” I said, smiling as broadly as I could. “We write copy for a living.”

“Ah!” a woman exclaimed, evidently enlightened. “What are you working on at the moment?”

“Are you working on any books?” someone piped up.

“Scripts?” another asked.

“Not at the moment…” I responded, deflated.

“Oh,” came the reply. The silence was awkward. You could almost hear their inner chatter: I thought copywriting was more exciting than that. What happens next?

Look, I know it’s hard for some people to get their heads around. I’m doing a job that they may never even have thought existed until they met me. What’s so special about copywriters anyway? I mean, everyone can write, right? Wrong. The truth is, people who go around claiming everyone can write are the same ones that send text messages like “c u l8r” or write sentences like “your the best writer”. They would breezily pop an apostrophe in the word banana’s and not see what they’ve done wrong. Apostrophic bananas are a copywriting catastrophe. (As is using the word ‘your’ instead of ‘you’re’ in the sentence above.) These are the sorts of typos that keep copywriters – or protectors of the written word, as I like to call them – up at night. Our fear of errors makes us read and reread an article five times and then once backwards (that is an actual proofreading technique, by the way) to make sure we haven’t used hyphens instead of en-dashes, or that we’ve not drafted our copy with incomplete comparisons or in passive voice. Not sure what I’m on about? That’s okay. It’s probably because you’re not a writer.

One of the hardest parts of my job is getting people – even very experienced professionals with fancy degrees – to wrap their heads around the fact that copywriting is a skill that took time to learn, or that it requires hard work and dedication to pull off. Many don’t realise that someone had to sit down and write whatever it is that they read that morning, from the words on their shampoo bottle to the cooking instructions on the back of the packet of oats. Hopefully, a writer even crafted the text message that popped up to alert above-mentioned people to the fact that the driver from the chauffeur-driven car service was downstairs to take them to work. Those words were created with conviction and determination. It took time, effort and probably rather a lot of coffee.

Aside from knowing our semicolons from our umlauts, copywriters are crucial to helping develop a brand’s style and tone of voice. That’s just one of the reasons why we like to be included in a project from the very beginning, instead of being squished in right at the end like the last passenger on the Tokyo subway train at rush hour. Our input is valuable and can impact the way people view and interact with a business on a direct level. Yet many companies still aren’t quite convinced of our worth. I have a theory: I believe that because the modern world is a very visual place, many businesses are bias towards the visual arts (which are VERY important, make no mistake), which means they might overlook copywriting a little. While most corporations wouldn’t ask one of their existing employees to “quickly design something”, many believe that they can get someone to bash out a bit of copy because they don’t think – or maybe they don’t know – that writing requires the same amount of skill. A writer shouldn’t be expected to just “quickly-write-something-up-because-it’s-short-and-won’t-take-time”. If I had a Dirham for every time I heard that statement I’d be a very rich woman.

On the topic of money, it’s a sad fact that many are quick to judge even a reasonable copywriting fee. If you’re someone who thinks that the cost of good writing is expensive, you should look at the cost of bad writing. A 2013 Global Lingo study revealed that people take spelling very seriously, with three quarters (74%) of web users paying attention to the quality of spelling and grammar on company websites, and more than half (59%) of people saying they would avoid doing business with a company that made obvious spelling or grammar mistakes.

Once upon a time, bad spelling and poor grammar would have been intolerable, but the lazy everyday communication that’s come about as a result of the hectic lives we lead seems to be spilling over into corporate communication, too. The value of carefully constructed and expertly crafted written language seems to have shrunk, which means that we’re all seeing (and getting) more and more emails, push notifications, SMS messages, marketing collateral and other written content containing atrocious spelling, shocking grammar and bad vocabulary.

So, fellow protectors of the written word, it’s up to us to teach one and all about the value of our work. If people don’t get it, we need to hammer away at our keyboards until they do. So, Montblancs at the ready and laptops open. Let’s use the power of well-crafted copy for the good of us all.

Media branding for Generation Z

James Pass, Managing Director and Creative Principle at JPd, offers his thoughts on future marketing audiences and how to effectively target them…

 “It’s time to be brave enough to tell your story and be ready for an open conversation with your audience.”

With 34% of the UAE market under 24 years old, it is time to realise that what we know about Millennials is no longer enough. Generation Z, those born after 1995, are expected to be the largest group of consumers by 2020, and they portray a whole new set of characteristics and demands. The true characteristics of this category are still being observed and analysed by marketers, and while there is some quite contradicting data, there are still a couple of trends we can underline to prepare your brand for the dynamic consumer of tomorrow.

So what is Generation Z all about? Generation Z are an independent, confident and quite honest consumer group. Young customers have characteristics such as short attention spans and the ability to multitask, – they’re also constantly online. They save money rather than spend, care for the environment, make decisions based on the recommendations of friends and reviews online, and see adverts as a thing of a past. This new consumer is no longer looking for a “YOLO”-style ad campaign or a direct sale, they require a more inspiring, honest and engaging way to communicate with a brand. The market is changing drastically and as a branding agency, we need to be keeping an eye on all the new trends that Generation Z is bringing us today.

When it comes to media segment, there are two essential brand elements we would recommend that you look at: authentic story and social responsibility.

It’s time to be brave enough to tell your story and be ready for an open conversation with your audience. Gen Z is the most bold and confident generation so far and they will connect with brands that have things in common with their own identity and thus help them to express themselves. Companies that embrace a softer side and move away from institutional identities in favour of more personable characteristics, young customers will relate to more.

Generation Z wants to connect with brands on an emotional level, and they won’t speak to a faceless company. It’s time to determine what your company is really about– why it exists in the market and how it benefits the community. This will help you to focus on the right digital platforms and messaging. There are many ways you can open up to your consumer: engage on social media, reveal behind-the-scenes, ask for opinion, replace staged photos and replicated messages with more spontaneous and honest stories, and so on. Just think of it this way: do not push marketing strategies too hard, you will need to co-create with Generation Z, treating them as your partner, not a target audience.

Your social responsibility activities are another tool that can help build your story. Generation Z was born and shaped by a world of risk; from news on global warming to recent financial crises. They see a problem and they aim to fix it. According to recent research, six in 10 of consumers between 16-20 years old prefer to buy products from a company that helps to shape a better world.

As an entrepreneur, I strive to follow my personal beliefs and value them above any financial gain. Following the humanitarian trend from Generation Z, I would encourage companies to think of various ways in which they could utilise their internal resources to make a difference. Be it an Earth hour, paper recycling, being more selective on a client range – would you partner with a company who runs animal testing? – or offering pro-bono or barter services to non-profit organisations. Companies should remain creative and think of different external and internal activities true to their band to contribute in a simple way.

Print is not dead but, perhaps, the traditional publishing houses are.

Harry Norman, Managing Director, FlipFlop Media, gives his thoughts on how traditional publishing houses in the UAE will need to evolve in order to keep print media a relevant commodity…

“Print is not dead, but it has changed massively in the last five years. The days of high page rates and paid subscriptions are coming to an end. It is not that print doesn’t offer value, it’s that the publishing houses in the UAE do not understand what this value is.”

At the start of every year, a number of media-heads begin to hammer the final nails into the newspaper-shaped coffin that is print. The continued shift towards social engagement, content marketing and online advertising routinely rings alarm bells for the publishing industry and, if certain sources are to be believed, job cuts, the closing of publications and empty order books are spelling the end of print media in the GCC.

What a load of rubbish!

As a media house that utilises print platforms, we at FlipFlop Media have never seen a better commercial pre-book than now, taking in to consideration all of our prior publishing experience. At no point have any of our clients or readers declined collaboration because content is not dynamic or topical enough and, ironically, it is our digital platforms which presently require the most attention.

The reason for this success is simple. Print is not dead, but it has changed massively in the last five years. The days of high page rates and paid subscriptions are coming to an end. It is not that print doesn’t offer value, it’s that the publishing houses in the UAE do not understand what this value is. I repeat, print is not dead, but perhaps, ‘traditional’ publishing houses are.

When establishing a company that deals with print media, it’s important to understand the need to a) stand out and b) offer real value.We believe that diversification is key to this, and we currently find ourselves committed to being the only Business to Government media group that offers a new niche focus as well as value for our partners. Using a print platform as a vehicle for engagement within public-private partnerships, allows for the undertaking of activities that not only bring about real RoI for the client, but also drive forward the sectors that each of our publications is focusing on.

A prime example of this would be how SMEs are struggling for growth and so, working with the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre, we created the Knowledge Series so that CEOs could better understand how they could grow their businesses. The key here was diversification and shifting away from what was traditional and dwindling, to where the need is and where we – and our partners – want to be.

Using the influence of print media and connecting the dots for clients can put publishing houses in the unique position of assisting in both powerful marketing activities and effective business development. Providing genuine value is also key as spending from clients can, and will, double (at least) from each contract if they’re carried out effectively.

We have print platforms – and we love them. So much so, that we invest massively into the design and quality of every page. This offers readers a visually rich, immersive experience of thought-provoking content and premium branding that a mobile or computer screen simply cannot provide.

As long as media houses can offer this kind of real value to clients, then print platforms will thrive. Perhaps consumer publishing and newspapers are on the final goodbye tour, but they should be leading in the digital arena. If not, then maybe they should regret having focused so much on commerce and so little on content.

Just like when a king passes and new monarch is declared, the print industry is not dead but is seeing a change of order. When we launched Future Cities we started with ‘as your industry changes, so must your dedicated media platforms.’ We have welcomed the change, and suggest that you do too.

Music: I Knew You Were Trouble

Mike Fairburn, General Manager at Sony Music Entertainment Middle East, offers his thoughts on how music should be used more effectively by PRs and Marketers in the region…

 “Music skirts around the brand’s edges when really the two of them should be hitting the dance floor and doing the greatest Rumba we’ve ever seen.”

See what I’ve done there? Used a Taylor Swift track to cleverly set up my theme: Do regional brands see music and think ‘trouble’?

Well, to many professional PRs and marketers in the region music is a bit of an enigma; something we all know, and love, but somehow struggle when it comes to building meaningful brand campaigns. Brands flirt with it. Dabble here and there. Music skirts around the brand’s edges when really the two of them should be hitting the dance floor and doing the greatest Rumba we’ve ever seen.

It feels like trouble, but it isn’t really – it’s the world’s single most powerful communication tool. Music is the world’s number one leisure pursuit, number one driver of social traffic, number one reason for visiting YouTube and one of the biggest drivers of mobile data consumption. In some countries, music accounts for up to 60% of time spent online. In 2014, music was streamed over 400 billion times. We estimate there are 40+ million records in existence. It’s rapid, it’s everywhere, and it links us all; every culture, background and language.

This region has over 350 million listeners and one of the youngest listening groups on the planet (68% under the age of 34). Mobile penetration is through the roof with the growth of Internet penetration not far off. Music is interweaved with the heritage of Arabia, and Western music remains as popular as ever with major international platforms Apple Music and Guvera entering the market this year. Yet still, we see few examples of brands committing, long term, to deep music engagement – or ‘music platforms’ as we call them in the industry.

So why aren’t more regional brands hurling themselves into music?

There are many theories of course; budgets, agency priorities, global and local brand guidelines, traditional media spending or simply bad advice, but one reason is a lack of clear navigation around how to relate to and activate in music. Take sports, art and film. They all share one commonality – deep analytics, and a tried and tested model of brand activation.

For sports this model includes title sponsorship, a logo on advertising, activation stand at a stadium, crowd giveaways, a corporate meet and greet, TV exposure analysis – leading to brand approval.

For art, there’s a VIP screening evening, a ‘young talent’ sponsored work display, meet n greet with artists and access for gallery influencers – leading to brand approval.

For film, the model uses product placement in the movie, talent interviews, premiere tickets, inclusion in launch communications and a cinema and TV distribution report  – leading, again, to brand approval.

When it comes to music there’s, err… no logo, no stand, no giveaways, no VIP screening, no meet and greet… so no one seems to be sure of what to approve!

Well, I’ve had a 16+ year career taking brands from the err’s to the extremely satisfied mmm’s and I can tell you all of the above is happening right now for many brands in music. All of these brands shared a feeling that music was important to their DNA in some way, but to commit they needed clear guidance, insights, return on investment, and transparency in execution. Ticking these boxes is the way we make music meaningful and effective.

So in summary, whether you’re a brand that feels there’s something in music, have a long standing history working with music, or you have no idea but are sure you need to tap into young people across the region – you can do it and it can be tracked, tested and evaluated. There’s never been a better time for regional brands to enter the music space errs – it’s as easy as in sport, art and film.

Digital news: How to maximise video content

Amer Attyeh, Head of MENA, Exponential Interactive, discusses the increasing move towards digital content in news, as well as how to utilise video content to maximum effect…

“In order for journalists and PR professionals to simply keep their jobs, digital and social needs to be a key part of their skill set and experience.”

There has been a massive change to the editorial ecosystem in recent years. Many positions have been cut, with a growing number of jobs appearing in the native digital news sector, and a significant number of high profile international journalists leading the charge to the digital space as online news sites such as Mashable, Buzzfeed and Yahoo become increasingly attractive. Some digital news producers are filling the gaps produced by increasing pressure on traditional news outlets, while others are developing new forms of storytelling such as video, crowdsourcing and new styles of documentary.

As the popularity of digital newsrooms continues to increase, particularly for the younger audience, traditional media outlets are having to transform themselves to keep up, offering more and more digital and social options to satisfy their audiences. Now it’s not even about staying ahead – in order for journalists and PR professionals to simply keep their jobs, digital and social needs to be a key part of their skill set and experience.

Video is set to be a key focus for online moving forwards, with companies dramatically increasing digital video advertising spend as a result of the increasing viewership in 2014. According to eMarketer, by the end of 2015, buyers and sellers will transact more than two billion dollars worth of video ads on programmatic platforms – nearly triple the spend of 2014. Successful journalists and PR professionals will need to continue to find ways to embrace the increasing growth in demand for video and content-driven marketing.

Engaging content goes far beyond one good video however; with the attention spans of our customers getting shorter, people are looking for more visual and memorable experiences, and one good video on its own is not enough. As a leading global provider of digital advertising solutions, we have plenty of insight into engaging users with online video:

  • The three key components to video are sight, sound and motion which need to work seamlessly together to create an emotive experience. If you take one of these (i.e. sound) away, the other two need to compensate together – using visual text or other prompts can be highly effective in these situations.
  • Attention spans are getting shorter, so it is important to focus on the first three seconds of the video and use the strongest asset as soon as possible, for example, if you have a celebrity, show them at the start.
  • Make sure you are familiar with analytics so that you can assess the success of your video, whether this is based on views, engagement or time spent on the video. Video should be a key component of your strategy, and therefore needs to be continually updated to reflect your audience’s needs and desires, as well as your results and objectives.

The digital evolution has impacted what news is reported, how it is reported, and even the language used to report. It has had an effect on our awareness, perceptions and demands, and created a much more convoluted and difficult to manage communications process. In order to avoid extinction, newspapers and TV networks need to embrace digital and create a revenue model that supports it – leveraging the value of their classifieds in order to stay ahead. Radio networks have their own issues thanks to the onslaught of digital players such as Spotify, with budgets that would have been purely for radio now being split to include these.

This movement has been more sudden and dramatic for the media industry than any we have seen before, and for those of us working in media and marketing, it offers both golden opportunities and nightmare-inducing fears. The only clear message is that this shift is not likely to slow down at any point, and only those who are open to change and who can see the opportunities provided by integration will succeed.