2022 was a tumultuous year for tech. SaaS multiples and global venture funding dropped from record highs, and billion-dollar valuations were almost impossible to come by. For most of the year, we operated in a downturn and anticipation of a recession. For many tech companies, this meant tightening budgets and, unfortunately, several rounds of layoffs — some call it “the great reset.”
It’s not all doom and gloom, though — SaaS spending is still up — and this year, we saw the return of some normalcy in the form of in-person events like SaaStr. Before we close the curtains on 2022 and enter 2023, let’s look at some predictions I gathered from BLAST’s senior leadership team.
Internal communication will be treated like external communication.
An unfortunate wave of RIFs and tech company exposés reinforced a need to craft internal communications as if they’d eventually be shared with the press. Empathy has been the defining word of the 2020s thus far. It must be baked into all internal communications strategies which could end up reaching a mass audience. – Kelsey Sowder, VP of PR
The rise of the Chief Communications Officer.
PR and communications have historically sat in marketing. It makes sense external communications have a direct impact on brand, and marketing owns brand. But it also causes tension. PR is never going to have the impact on pipeline our counterparts in demand can produce. And with marketing becoming increasingly growth-focused in the face of budget cuts and an impending recession, it might be time for communications to seek a new home. But where?
The C-Suite is relying more heavily on communications teams for strategic counsel than in years past — executive communications and thought leadership, internal communications, planning a company-wide rollout of a restructure, owning communications to customers on an outage or a fundraise, handling sensitive employee communications on DEIB, owning the company’s response to national news and societal issues — the list goes on. The reality is that communications isn’t just a marketing function — it’s fundamental to the everyday operations of the business. Communications leaders deserve a seat at the executive table, which is why in 2023 we’ll see more Chief Communications Officers than ever before. – Grace Williams, SVP of PR
Female leadership voices rise in 2023.
In a time where leading with humility, empathy and self-awareness are paramount, 2023 will see a rise in female voices. While female leaders are leaving their positions at a faster pace than ever before, they’re leaving for a better fit culturally. When they find the right company, where their voices are heard and recognized, they’ll become the voice of the brand. PR pros will identify female spokespeople inside the brands they represent to tell the people stories inside the organization. – Kim Jefferson, EVP
Rise of zero click content.
We’ve moved well past the “gate or ungate” content conversation — get rid of your forms! — and will see the rise of zero click content. Your how-to’s and perspectives can (and should) still live on relevant publications, blogs and newsletters, but consider a “zero click” approach to ensure your audience can engage with your content immediately. This means consolidating your wisdom into easy-to-read bullets or a visual, like a simplified infographic. Studies show attention spans are about 8 seconds… don’t miss your chance! – Jake Doll, VP of PR
Quality content comes from humans — and sets apart top-performing companies.
From gathering and interpreting buyer intent signals to producing short-form web copy, AI is quickly becoming a must-have business companion. But not all is wonderful in AI Land. The more niche your industry, the harder time you’ll have using an AI solution to produce quality content that’ll actually capture your customers’ attention. For example, B2B SaaS companies have specific technical language and complex concepts to write about. Datasets used to train commercially available AI aren’t complete enough to capture the nuances of topics in this industry. As word count increases, AI’s power fizzles out and leaves companies with content chock full of jargon soup.
Buyers want content that speaks their language fluently and connects with them personally — and for now, that definitely requires a human touch. While AI tools can help fill in some gaps, companies that invest in humans who can tell compelling, personalized stories will create standout content that better connects with prospects — and closes more deals than the competition. – Alex Sventeckis, VP of Content
This year we had more SaaS PR predictions than we knew what to do with, so make sure you also check out our thoughts on media relations in 2023. Cheers to the new year, may it bring those of us in tech PR exciting changes, growth and success. 🥂