Posts Tagged 'new public relations'

New Marketing, New Media, New Public Relations: Why it’s a Great Time to Teach Communications

Communication concept isolated on white

Happy 2016! As we reflected on the lessons learned from the past that guide us into this new year, it dawned on at least one of us what a great time it is to teach communications. New approaches to marketing, new media channels, new public relations techniques all lead to newer business models, so it’s an exciting time to practice and to teach aspiring professionals. As PR pros, we’re enjoying the transition from older methods of practice to new technology and newer standards. And in teaching, we find an exhilarating exchange with students of older wisdoms to newfound truths. With that in mind here’s our list of why we’re not only thankful to be in PR, but equally excited to be teaching communications as a career path for the future.

Revolutionary Changesocial-media

While energy, dynamism, and, in some cases disruption, has always been a characteristic of PR, at no time in recent memory has it occurred as such a tidal wave on so many fronts. Today, changes in branding, images, skill sets, tools and channels is occurring at such a fever pitch, which is why “disruption” is now part of our modern vernacular.

Do-You Style

It would be hard imagining another time when personal style, branding and imprimatur were more celebrated. PR and communications today reflect more individual style, preference and prerogative than the industry has ever afforded. Beyond essential skills and expertise, success today is less the result of a well-worn pattern or formula, than of hard work, energy and verve. Consequently, all manner of creativity is being unleashed—some for good, some otherwise, but the marketplace of ideas will sort it out. For aspiring and practicing pro communicators, the path to a successful career has never been more open to different personas, styles, acumen, knowledge, interests and lifestyles. Consequently, it’s tremendously exhilarating to help developing pros find their own brand and voice.

Evolution of cellphone graphic

Changing Business Models

Change isn’t solely the domain of the communications industries; structural change is occurring daily in our economy and changing business models are rampant throughout the entire business sector—retail, manufacturing, technology, professional services, healthcare, etc. Even the business model for nonprofits is in flux. Communication pros and businesses are experiencing it all together, and pro communicators who take the time to understand and invest in being a part of this new and still emerging economy will be on the cutting edge of future growth.

DiversityDiverse Businesspeople

We take our colleagues at their word that efforts to continue to strengthen all levels of the profession through diversity are not only real, but they’re also a priority. But it’s also exciting to help push and shape the agenda for a world that’s increasingly diverse and for a more diverse profession. We hope to continue to be a part of that continuing drumbeat for diversity inside classrooms as well as in the work-a-day world and professional ranks. Greater diversity is the only honest option for communicators in all media-related professions in a now-global, and increasingly diverse world.

 

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When Did We Start Doing Only “Traditional” Public Relations?

There’s a lot of talk in the PR field about the “death of ‘traditional’ or ‘standard’ PR.” What with new technologies continually exploding on scene, we’re told that the standard tools alone simply won’t cut it. Our question is: When did we start doing only traditional PR?

Collectively, at MediaWorks we’ve been doing PR for almost 30 years. During that time, we’ve written news releases, pitched media stories, created and placed ads, planned and orchestrated special events—including scripting and stage management—updated and managed websites, tweeted and posted other social media updates, shot and uploaded videos to online sites, and even run interference  to mediate a few issues, which, left unattended, would have devolved into a crisis. In our time, we’ve even had to manage a couple of crisis situations. In the course of doing all this, we’ve never considered our work “standard” PR. What is standard PR? When did it become “standard”? When did “standard” PR become out of vogue?

Yes, we’re among the vanguard in accepting that public relations has evolved; but as advocates for our organizations or clients, we never considered, or accepted, that what we do as tactics and techniques is “standard”. The beauty of PR is that it’s as encompassing as the situation requires, or as the client will pay for.

In reality, the public relations skill set and duties have continued to multiply since the 1960s. Perhaps there are PR pros who’ve worked continuously in siloed sectors; maybe they’ve never had to produce a video, train a virtual army of frontline employees, write op-eds and talking points, or negotiate media buys. If so, I don’t believe I’ve ever met them. At MediaWorks, what we’ve always loved about the practice of PR is that it’s so boundless.

Now the world seems (forgive the expression) –atwitter– because learning how to understand, use and measure social media is becoming part of a PR pro’s required toolkit. We think the reality is that most PR folks have been expanding their repertoire of skills to solve problems for decades. Why? Because it’s the way to keep a job, or clients—and the profession demands it!


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