We’ve all heard the term, change or die. And the majority of industries have had to change and evolve with the times. The Public Relations industry is no exception.
With the advent and growth of social media, a shrinking news industry, and economic fluctuations over past few years, PR has had hurdles to overcome and challenges to solve, without question.
I applaud creative thinkers in the Public Relations field who continue to look for new, innovative ways to service clients better and more effectively. Our firm also looks for ways to make the client experience better. In fact, one of the primary reasons we started Weiss PR was to provide services differently than we had at our previous firm. We felt strongly about creating a model that staffs accounts with senior-level professionals only while also keeping budgets at levels affordable to all organizations.
That said, in the process for short-term gain, some have lost sight of the PR basics and in turn, created a diluted, confusing image of the industry and services we collectively provide.
The PR industry has been fighting – successfully, I might add – for years to have a seat at the table with C-level executives and to be part of the big-picture decision making process. Why? Because Public Relations directly impacts any business. The Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) – as well as many upstanding professionals within the field – have been working diligently for years to change the perception of the industry with corporate executives. For the most part, our discipline has been steadily beating the drum that PR should be involved in driving the strategic decision-making process while demonstrating the need, value and impact of strategic communications.
Why then would we want to dilute the message, take the profession backwards, or otherwise “dumb down” the perception of Public Relations? Most PR professionals want to see the industry continue to progress, yet, more and more we are simultaneously seeing individuals offering public relations services on a tactical level – such as a one-off news release or random media placement – with no regard for the larger, strategic picture. Many times we have also encountered CEOs and others in the corporate world that equate Public Relations to press releases, sadly.
We feel there is a balance between the two. By getting creative, our profession can offer flexible, budget-focused baseline Public Relations services while also keeping an eye towards the strategy.