Thoughts on the changing face of PR

Thoughts on the changing face of PR

Public Relations isn’t what it used to be.  Long gone are the days when a company would send out a press release and the print media ran with it because that probably was its main source of gathering news. Obviously technology has changed all of that. Twitter, blogs, and Facebook among many others, have significantly broadened the way in which we get, report, and perceive news. Where a company once counted on the media to relay their messages to their audience, today a company can reach out to their audience directly and across many different platforms.

PR is at a crossroads as it finds a way to remain relevant in such a dynamic and fast changing environment. Accompanying the PR industry on this journey of change is the journalism industry, which in its own way is learning how to restructure itself to remain profitable.  The PR and journalism industries are becoming more blurred as companies begin embracing brand journalism. Lewis DVorkin captured this well in his Forbes Magazine article on Oct 3, 2012:

“Welcome to the emerging world of brand journalism — marketers using the tools of digital publishing and social media to speak directly to consumers. The advertising industry commonly refers to it as content marketing, brands disintermediating news professionals by writing and distributing thought leadership content. It’s one of the most quietly talked about areas in the media industry today, ultimately destined to shake up 100 years of journalism.”

As PR changes, it’s worthwhile to keep a few things in mind about the industry.PR isn’t just about getting your clients in the news. Media relations is a major part of the industry, but in today’s day and age, PR is also about using tools like social media, paid advertisement and events to reach and engage your audience.

PR professionals have to become increasingly more familiar with tools, platforms, and concepts that once were considered very separate from PR such as: big data, basic html coding, mobile aps, and the cloud. Technology is becoming more ingrained in everyday life and having an understanding of these concepts puts you on the cutting edge.

Remembering that the ‘public’ in Public Relations is no longer a one way soap box; today that public has a voice and thus PR is about engaging in conversation. Taking advantage of all the opportunities technology offers will make these changing times a much smoother process. More about big data to come.


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