Tonight, I share the stage with Shel Holtz at a San Francisco IABC event that examines the future of PR and communications in 2025.
Given the velocity of change in today’s world regardless of industry, predicting what will happen one year from now — much less eight years out — is fraught with peril (and pointed objects).
Years ago, I was staffing a press interview with Philips when it had just introduced a technology for storing data on the same compact disc used for music.
The journalist kept pressing the Philips exec about how many units would be sold. He tried to dance around the question, but the journalist wasn’t having it. Finally, in an act of exasperation, he said, “Projecting sales for CD-ROM units is like asking Mrs. Magellan how many lunches should be packed. Who the hell knows?” The clever sound bite diffused the journalist’s aggression and, of course, made the story.
In preparation for talking on the future of communications, I thought about the exchange on CD-ROM and how I might conjure up context to guide my own predictions. With this in mind, I decided to go backwards eight years looking at both the business world at large and communications before throwing darts at 2025.