PR must adapt or die

We must evolve — or get replaced by digital specialists.

PR must adapt — or die.

The traditional public relations industry must act.

Today, we consume more social media than traditional news media. We get more news from our social media feeds than from news outlets directly. The classic PR argument that the news media publicity is more credible than advertising might still hold true, but is the news media more engaging than peer-to-peer communication? Will news editors be able to outperform social media algorithms?

I doubt it.

As we choose our future as public relations professionals, we must realize that social media and the internet is more important than keeping up with a few (or many) newspapers. Digital first is no longer a matter of perspective — it’s a matter of fact. 

If we allow the world to see us as sleazy publicity hounds, we’ll slowly fade into oblivion while digital specialists take over our clients.

Now, I’m considered by many industry colleagues as a specialist on digital communication, but that’s just not right; I’m just a public relations professional who knows as much about the internet as I do about journalism.

And we must take this new media logic to heart, quickly. All of us, not just a few specialists.

PR must adapt to digital first

Digital first is something all public relations professionals must take into serious consideration.

A first step would be to update our traditional PR model:

PR must adapt. We must add inbound communications to our classic PR model.
We must add inbound communications to our classic PR model.

It’s time for PR to get busy to stay business relevant.

“In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different.”
— Coco Chanel

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash.


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Jerry Silfwer
Jerry Silfwer, aka Doctor Spin, is an awarded senior adviser specialising in public relations and digital strategy. Currently CEO at KIX Communication Index and Spin Factory. Before that, he worked at Kaufmann, Whispr Group, Springtime PR, and Spotlight PR. Based in Stockholm, Sweden.

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