The (PR) future is here

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.

The speakers – Stephen Waddington, CIPR president, and Gemma Griffiths, The Crowd and I managing director and CIPR’s 2013 ‘Outstanding Young Communicator’ – addressed approx. 50 attendees.

Stephen Waddington

Stephen Waddington

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.

First press release - Oct 8 1906

First press release – Oct 8 1906

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. waddstwThat’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.

trendfuturePR

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Reputation, crisis, simply complicated, and what Socrates said

Last week I found myself at the CIPR HQ once again attending a rather interesting event – ‘Reputation Management Through Troubled Times’. Although given a somewhat ‘fancy’ name, it doesn’t take long for someone to understand what it is all about – crisis. And as we all know, there is nothing dull about ‘crisis talk’.

Event speakers L-to-R: Dr Hermann, Mr Cockram and Mr Johnson

Event speakers L-to-R: Dr Hermann, Mr Cockram and Mr Johnson

Co-organised by CIPR International and IABC’s UK chapter, the lecture was chaired by Jonathan Chandler, Master of the City of London Guild of Public Relations Practitioners. Chandler chaired the event just the way I think one should chair any event – you could only hear him when it was absolutely necessary. Just like when you watch a football match and afterwards you wonder – ‘who was the ref again?’ – that’s how you know he did a good job, and Chandler certainly did.  Continue reading →

Post-dissertation stress disorder

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.

Doing a dissertation? This is you in August.

Doing a dissertation? This is you in August.

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 →

PR intern – why to start out small?

It is that time when we finalize our Uni projects, intensify our dissertation facilitation and look for some kind of work experience or internship. I find any kind of information about an internship experience useful, although it might be a story with a good or a bad ending. I experienced a lot of positives, so I decided to share my story and, hopefully, it might be useful. I spent my last two and a half months interning in a small London publishing agency called Istros Books. The internship ended at the London Book Fair 2013 stand, which was a great project to be a part of. First lesson to be drawn from my experience is the ‘you might want to start out small’ lesson.

London Book fair 2013; Earls Court

London Book fair 2013; Earls Court

Istros Books can be put in that category Continue reading →

How about some PR to the HR?

I guess Paris Brown did not read my blog post on tweeting for students and did become a Twitter #failure. However, I would lay off Paris for now and take a different aspect to the story. She quit, she will be sorry for the rest of her life. Hopefully she is setting an example. But why isn’t anyone thinking about the Kent police and their lack of capability to fully grasp social media and to do a background check, in the end allowing them to be ridiculed in the public eye?

Mail on Sunday

Mail on Sunday

No hacking, no listening in on the conversations, but a simple scroll down her Twitter page would be enough to see what kind of a person you are hiring for a job that is bound to get you a lot of media attention and is in a way a PR move in its core, one could even call it a stunt. It was all fun and giggles for the Kent crime commissioner Ann Barnes when charismatic Paris was appearing next to her on TV. And she (Barnes), of course, couldn’t denounce her for the tweets she posted, since she did hire her in the first place. ‘’I was not recruiting an angel…I was recruiting a young person, warts and all’’ Barnes claims. Well first of all, do not offend the British youth, many of youngsters probably deserve the role as much as she does, and yet they did not rant stupidities on social media. You failed to realize the power of social media, deal with it.

Celebrity, reality and what in the world is a ‘starlet’?

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.

The first 'big thing' - Big Brother

The first ‘big thing’ – Big Brother

Although it existed before, the explosion of the genre came with the popularity of Big Brother and Survivor i Continue reading →

Why a good brief is likely to lead to a good PR campaign?

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.

Get rid of the confusion, create a good brief

Get rid of the confusion, create a good brief

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 →

Journos and PR’s – Gatekeepers of different castles

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.

Coexistence

Coexistence

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 →

One word to describe PR in 2013? Analysing PowerBook 2013

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.

All the unique answers - top challenging, essential, evolving

All the unique answers – top challenging, essential, evolving

Forget about books, journal texts, blogs, even 140 characters…one word. PRWeek stated that ‘challenging’ was the resounding winner with Continue reading →

Power and the Systems of Public Relations

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.

Power & PR - pic by SS

Power & PR – pic by SS

The meaning is the struggle to define what power resources are and who are the brokers Continue reading →

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