Public Relations the good old way is dead. RIP
This is an age of round the clock news breaks, and news agencies around the world are in a frenzy to get what they perceive as ‘breaking news’ to the consumer. But this is also the age where news houses are under intense scrutiny by their consumers, and also critics who are more informed and equipped by the social media to counter any misrepresentation or mistake in facts that come out along with the breaking news and views.
So, in this age of social 20 (or is it 3.0?), where news and views are shaped by the minute, what does it take to be a great PR professional?
The best and easy way to look at PR is this — we are the crucial information supply chain link in the communication eco-system. The PR pro serves his set of clients, equipping them with the right information to be communicated at the right time in the right place (call it target media) — conventional, and social. Our expertise in the communication business is meant to serve the needs of the client who acts a consumer. Add to that is another front — the media, which is a consumer too, provided you have the right nuggets of information for their appetite (which beat, what story, what inputs.. that rigmarole)
The well-equipped, smart and highly informed PR pro is someone who can facilitate the journalist with the right bits of information and right facts, illustrate what will be trends in any industry in product, service or innovation, and beef up the journalistic armor of these consumers of a different kind.
From being just release pushers or press conference specialists, the PR profession has completely morphed into a new avatar — that in which each PR professional or PR agency is co-creating and collaborating with their consumers — the clients and the journalistic fraternity as well.
There is intense competition for eye balls and viewed/read column centimetre’s, and every right 140 or so characters which are pregnant with news-breaks, and news shapes (setting trends for what would make bigger news in the media).
For the well-meaning journalists and media houses, who want to be a credible source of breaking and shaping news and views, the need of the hour is people who can collaborate and co-create.
And the onus to take this place is on PR professionals who want to make a difference to their clients. The one question which a PR pro or agency must ask them-self every day is — ARE WE COLLABORATING AND CO-CREATING?
If we are not doing this, we might as well shut shop and look at alternate avenues.
PR will not work the old way. Period.
Good old PR, RIP.