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The Changing Face of Public Relations

Log on to Twitter and it’s easy to find companies getting trashed for careless business practices (like creating an environmental disaster in the Gulf of Mexico).  On Facebook, corporations have their fan pages inundated with negative comments about lackluster customer service and local restaurants get to read reviews from unsatisfied guests.  In an age of social media, it may appear to many that the PR industry is facing challenges that are threatening its very existence.  Companies seem to be left defenseless to open mass media critique at any time from just about anybody with an internet connection.

Despite these new challenges, PR is going through an age of revitalization.  Over the past year PR has been adapting new techniques to reach consumers, and expanding in ways never seen before.

Traditionally, PR has fought to establish itself as more than just fluff; immeasurable marketing or meaningless corporate rhetoric.  The PR industry has had to rely on relationships with journalists as the sole channel to broadcast messages.  Now the PR industry is using new media to develop a complex identity.  This new identity blends with other pieces of the communications puzzle, as PR practitioners take on a hybrid role as journalists, advertisers, and marketers.

PR professionals can now reach consumers directly.  Companies are taking on endeavors such as running microsites with blogs about philanthropy initiatives or creating viral videos and vignettes.  Social media has given companies the chance to extend a brand image that can connect with consumers.   [Read more…]

How Is PR Changing?

I get this question all the time. How is PR changing and what can I do to adapt? For starters, everyone that’s asked that question is on the right track. It’s the ones that don’t ask that question that I worry about. PR is always changing. So is media. So is everything.

The real question is how quickly do you adapt to change? Are you in tune with changes in your industry? Part of our responsibility as PR professionals is to help others learn about the changes at hand, and what they can do to stay current. [Read more…]

Will PR Spending Rebound in 2010?

The majority of PR agencies saw revenues decline in 2009, according to a recent PRWeek article based on a year-end survey of PR agencies conducted by StevensGouldPincus. The survey polled 157 agencies and found 63.7 percent reported revenue declines from the prior year. While this data may come as no surprise to those following the economy lately, the survey also found that 23 percent of firms achieved higher revenues in 2008 – and 13.4 percent reported no change in profitability. Most of the firms reported average client and staff turnover rates – and most expect 2010 to be a much better year for business. [Read more…]