I realized yesterday, with a brand new hard copy of my book, PR 2.0 New Media, New Tools, New Audiences, in hand that nothing would ever be the same (and really hasn’t been the same in the field of public relations for many years). As a PR professional, I know that change is thrust upon us and I say, “Bring it on!” Not everyone is like me. I realize that we are all different and embrace change at varying rates. There’s nothing wrong with this as long as we are all open to new things.
Call me crazy but I love change. It’s been my life. From the time I was little and I would try everything from clarinet lessons to horseback riding. In my adult years I’ve experienced immense changes in my life… in marriage, child birth, divorce, remarriage (soon), entrepreneurship, near bankruptcy, business growth, more years of schooling than I ever thought possible, and in my efforts to constantly move at the speed of light. I truly believe that change means growth and leads to strength and monumental accomplishments.
PR 2.0 is a tremendous change and it marks an evolution in PR. But, there’s a great deal of conflict over the moniker. I don’t think we should be hung up on 2.0. The most important part about new communication approaches, such as PR 2.0, is that it leads to great communication and quite frankly, the best PR that you will ever know! The PR industry has been blamed, embarrassed, lost credibility and has been seen as just a necessary evil. I know PR is so much more than this and deserves praise and recognition. PR, when practiced properly, has and will always be the greatest means to reach and capture public attention, and to build strong meaningful, trusting relationships. With the movement of PR 2.0 or new PR, as communications professionals, we have a chance to reinvent our industry and give it back the credibility it deserves.
Wouldn’t it be nice to put the “public” back into Public Relations? Everyone says this but not everyone does it. The answer is yes. The ability to reach people directly and have direct conversations and to provide valuable information and help them make informed decisions is a step in the right directions. No longer will our brands be “talking at” the market or their customers. They will experience great conversations and “talk to or with” markets and customers. Big difference!
Sure, there will always be advertising, direct mail and other types of marketing from the traditional marketing model, but today we have two-way communication, which goes back to what Ivy Lee, one of the founders of PR, believed PR should be. Perhaps, PR has come full circle, almost a Renaissance, in a sense. We are changing and so is our industry. The change will continue so that we can find our way back to the essence of what the PR industry should be….great communication with the public.
I urge you to keep an open mind as you witness the change. And, even more importantly, get involved in the change. Together we will create the path to meaningful, trustworthy and credible PR. I think that would be a monumental accomplishment.