Wednesday evening saw me strolling through the streets of Shoreditch, eager to attend The future of the PR profession event. After getting a few odd looks (guess I was too mainstream for the environment in my suit), I found my way to the office of The Crowd & I. Time to sum-up the impressions.
The crowd (and I) at the event – young and vibrant. Too young to know what a DeLorean is (*sigh*, few exceptions), yet experienced enough to know that the future of the profession needs to be dissected and debated.
Stephen Waddington (unlike me, dressed Shoreditch-appropriate in his green sleeveless checkered shirt) took to the floor first, filling out the flip chart with ten areas of change we are likely to come across and areas we need to pay attention to so we can keep pace with the future developments of the profession. And here they are:
#workflow, #networks, #data, #community of practice, #voice, #social science, #£££money, #PESO (Paid/Earned/Shared/Owned), #InternalComms, #confidence (thanks @weshosie for summing up in 140 characters or less).
A lot of ‘future talk’ for Waddington in the past few days as he has recently published his 13 lessons for the future leaders of the CIPR. Personally, I was especially glad to see internal comms on the flipchart, as I agree it will play a bigger role as the profession progresses. Also, there is going to be a high increase in demand of digital skills, with the need for PR skills in general on the upraise in the next decade. As PR’s, we understand that our personal development can never be complete. Get more training, learn more, and increase your list of skills.
Some other interesting facts also emerged, as we went back in time to the first ever press release, sent out in 1906 in response to Pennsylvania Railroad crash killing 53 people in Atlantic City (thanks @AJMRoss for fishing this out).
Gemma’s presentation could be considered controversial (but sure made sense) as she challenged the traditional PR career ladder (or frankly said, just plain discarded it) and offered a rather interesting, more talent-oriented and involving, agency model called the Progressive Circle Structure (see the image).
As young practitioners, we could only agree. No one wants to spend first few months, let alone a year or more, of their career doing media monitoring or press clippings and nothing else. That’s how creativity is supressed, and as a profession we usually list creativity as an absolute necessity, agency side especially. Gemma also emphasised the need for PR people to understand what the profession is all about, because otherwise, just about anyone could call him or herself a PR person.
Finally, the event was not only interesting, but also trended on Twitter! That’s what you get when you have a thought-provoking topic and a room full of PR tweeps. See the hashtag for a sum-up #FuturePR.
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It has been more than a month since I submitted my dissertation and I am happy to say that the twitching and the occasional nausea along with irregular sleep and mood swings has completely stopped. Yes, the master dissertation has passed through my system.
It has been a rocky road and it flew by very fast. If I could do it again (which I hope I won’t have to) I would do it differently and probably follow the advices of my future self. This post will not focus on the topic of the dissertation, but rather on the process of writing one, and hopefully Continue reading →
Whether I like it or not, I have to admit that celebrities do play a (sometimes big) role in public relations. Celebrity endorsement has for a long time been one of the go-to strategies for some fields of public relations. If you don’t incorporate it in your campaign, you probably at least thought about it in the process. The problem for PR has always been the budget or the actual cost of celebrity endorsers and the question would the money spent on them be otherwise better used in some other aspect of the campaign. But the very end of the 20th century brought a global craze for something that was the answer to the advertising/PR prayers. Into our everyday lives and our everyday chitchat came reality television.
Although it existed before, the explosion of the genre came with the popularity of Big Brother and Survivor i Continue reading →
In the world of public relations, we are constantly being reminded through lectures, blogs, everyday conversation and advice of the importance of responding to a brief well and creating the right campaign to respond to a brief and win the account. On the other side, something I learned in the corporate comms lectures, the importance of creating a good brief is as, or even more, important.
Nobody knows better than the client of the reasons for doing a PR campaign. If the client wants a PR campaign and they can’t tell why, they are not yet ready for a PR campaign. The better the brief, the higher the chances of a better Continue reading →
The complicated relationship between PR professionals and journalists has been analysed and will be analysed as long as the media exists. Journalists are looking for stories, investigating, critically analysing and informing the public and the society of the events worth knowing. PR professionals are looking to create events that are newsworthy, that deserve to be covered by the journalists and appear in the public eye as well as handling reputational issues for their stakeholders.
The question of how PR pros should approach journalism can provide different outcomes. Although I consider that in today’s world of information overflow, the view ‘to be a good PR, you need to be a journalist first’ is Continue reading →
After writing the previous post, about the PR ecosystems of power, I came up with an interesting idea. A week ago, along with my PRWeek, a little booklet called Power Book 2013 – ‘The definitive guide to the most influential people in PR’ came in (sponsored by Ogilvy PR). A booklet filled with PR seniors, heads of comms, MD’s, agency leaders as well as industry leaders in the UK. Think of this as a power ecosystem, a fish tank. Along with other questions, what draw my attention the most was the last one – One word to describe PR in 2013.
Forget about books, journal texts, blogs, even 140 characters…one word. PRWeek stated that ‘challenging’ was the resounding winner with Continue reading →
With the ability and the possibility to influence the public opinion and alter people’s perceptions, comes great power. With great power comes great responsibility. The ability to handle this kind of power in the world of public relations requires the realization of how the world of PR works. An interesting idea and the approach to the world of PR from the perspective of power, is raised in Heath (2010) with the introduction of the ideas of systems and meaning.
The meaning is the struggle to define what power resources are and who are the brokers Continue reading →