Public Relations is a dynamic field with increasingly varied opportunities and roles. From the days when one “in-house journalist” would write stories on behalf of a corporation, the field has rapidly grown and now whole departments and firms are devoted to specific activities like crisis management and investor relations. This growth certainly has been as unpredictable as recent technological advances and the only certainty seems to be that the profession is going to change. Where do you see the public relations profession going in the next 20 years? What do you think successful students can do to cope with a rapidly changing profession?
3 thoughts on “A Changing Profession”
Public Relations is a fascinating industry. A few years ago, most of us couldn’t even say what a blog was and now we hear about them at least once a day. It’s hard to say where the industry will be in 20 years, but I’m pretty confident that many of the entry-level jobs we’ll get after graduation probably won’t exist. Fortunately for us, we have a lot of resources right under our noses to prepare us for the change. My personal favorite:
ISSUES AND TRENDS! What a better way to keep up with a changing profession than reading about it on a daily basis? With articles about social media trends (what they are AND who actually keeps up with them), sustainability, marketing and advertising practices and a variety of other facets of the PR industries, issues and trends keeps us informed of what’s going on now and what will be happening in the future. Granted I’m a little behind on some industry trends, living in a small town and slightly intimidated by the ongoing presence of Web 2.0, but I personally think that by keeping up with the changing trends, I’ve given myself a bit of an edge over other pre-professionals that I’ll be competing with for jobs after graduation.
As a public relations student and intern at Frause, I think the industry is headed towards using social media on a regular basis. The use of Twitter, blogs and Facebook are just the tip of the iceberg; there are many more innovations to come our way. For example, PR agencies are utilizing social media releases to gain coverage and response.
I also hope that as public relations uses more social media tools that ethical practices will continue to have a strong presence. Blogs are posing an interesting question when it comes to ethical journalism and regulations. It’s good to know that organization like PRSSA and PRSA are dedicated to ethical responsibility.
I think the ever changing field of Public relations is exciting yet mysterious. The roles we play in keeping up with the game of life, the who’s who in the eye of the public, and the hot new ways we relay information keep us on our toes and interested. How many other people can say they are constantly doing something different and loving it? It’s a world of its own, set apart for a specific reason. It’s purpose, well that’s up for the beholder to decide. We give the people what they want, at least for the most part. It takes a special breed of people to not only take on this challenge, but to do it well all the while actually enjoying what they do. I think the fact that we have so many options is awesome! I say keep them coming.
The shift that our field has experienced thus far, in my opinion, is just the tip of the iceberg. We either have to get prepared or get swept away. No one can put a limit on what this generation or its technology is capable. We must keep our eyes open and arms outstretched because who knows what we will be able to do in one year let alone the next 20. Professionals must adapt, and do it quickly in order to not only keep up with their competition but to understand what their clients want or need. In twenty years blogging will be an everyday tool. Computers, podcasts and various other electronic avenues will have been simply the stepping stones to bigger and better technological advances within our real of social media. It is imperative that companies or firms teach, train and acknowledge the new systems in order to be successful in the future.
I think students are the key to the future of Public Relations and the radical change that this field is going to experience. It is a must that students get involved, stay alert, and become knowledgeable of not only things around them and in their field but in the world as a whole. Leave your mark now and hold true to your identity, only you know what you will do in the future of PR. Whatever it is, it’s going to change something or someone. Don’t be afraid to get out there and mix things up. You know it’s going to happen eventually!