It’s time for the traditional public relations industry to 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. People favour two-way communication via social networks over traditional the traditional mass media model. The classic public relations argument that the news media publicity is more credible than advertising might still be true, but is the news media more engaging than peer-to-peer communication? Will news editors be able to outperform social media algorithms?
As we choose our future as public relations professionals, we must realise that social media is more important than reading the newspaper. Digital first is not a matter of perspective — it’s a matter of fact. If we allow the world to keep their die-hard perception of us as sneaky press agents and news pitchers, then we’ll slowly fade into oblivion while digital marketing specialists devour our businesses.
Shall we keep traditional publicity at the center of what others see as the core of our profession? Or should we embrace digital communication, not as one specialisation amongst many others, but as something every public relations professional must live and breathe? Well, I know which route I would suggest. I’m considered by many industry colleagues as a specialist on digital communication, but that’s just not right; I’m a public relations professional who knows as much about the internet as I do about journalism.
Digital first is something all public relations professionals must take into serious consideration.
It’s time for PR to haul ass to stay business relevant.