This is Not Your Father’s “the Future of PR” Post

posted by on February 2 2012 in Public Relations Strategy - 2 Comments

If you’re in the PR industry, you’ve spent endless hours debating, agonizing over and reading about the future of PR. But it’s not every day that you’re invited to look into the crystal ball of one of the great PR minds of our generation.

Last week, Worldcom Public Relations Group invited its members to do just that. Paul Holmes, president & CEO of the Holmes Group and editor of the HolmesReport, shared his predictions for the PR industry in 2012. And to my relief, it looks like there may be exceptionally clear skies ahead.

In fact, Holmes predicts that PR will soon earn a seat at the executive table as the C-suite begins to recognize the importance of effectively managing relationships between organizations and key stakeholders.

But is PR really ready to take on this challenge? According to Holmes, we’re in an era of unprecedented opportunity for our industry – but it won’t all be smooth sailing.

Here are the 10 things Holmes says PR must “get right” if we’re going to succeed:

  1. Recruitment: We must attract top-level people – those who understand not only PR, but the business environment impacting our clients.
  2. Development: Our industry is evolving; it’s critical that our people keep pace. We must ensure we are continuously seeking out and providing learning opportunities for our colleagues/employees.
  3. Retention: Attracting the best people isn’t enough; we must also retain them. It’s important that we create engaging work environments and put our people first… even if that means letting clients go when they don’t do the same.
  4. Research: Think Moneyball. Billy Beane was able to defy conventional wisdom and outsmart much richer baseball franchises with the use of research. PR needs to do the same.
  5. Conversation: PR isn’t about crafting and delivering messages. It’s about two-way conversation; listening as much as talking.
  6. Content: We have to become adept at content creation. We must be able to create content that enables us to reach stakeholders in an impactful way.
  7. Courage: “Do one brave thing today… then run like hell.” We must have the courage to counsel our clients; to truly earn a seat at that executive table.
  8. Integrity: Credibility is critical to our industry. As Marcus Aurelius said, “If it’s not right, don’t do it. If it’s not true, don’t say it.”
  9. Independence: The advice we give must be genuinely neutral in terms of media channels and tactics. PR folks: that means that if the right solution is advertising (gasp!) – that’s what we recommend.
  10. Measurement: At the end of the day, if we’re going to have a seat at the table, we must become better at measuring the value of PR and the relationships it builds and manages. We have access to more data today than ever before. We must find more effective ways of using it!

 

What else would you say PR needs to “get right” to survive as our industry and the business environment we work in continues to evolve?

 

To connect with Aven:

Phone: 212.840.1661
Email: aven@blisspr.com
Twitter: @avenlea
LinkedIn: Aven James

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2 Comments on "This is Not Your Father’s “the Future of PR” Post"
  1. Judy Caroll
    02/06/2012 at 3:18 AM Permalink

    Thanks for all the knowledge in this post Aven. In a volatile kind of market we have at the moment, PR is important than ever before. But PR is not what other people are thinking. It focuses less on advertising and more on providing valuable information to the public-often times without involving a sales pitch.

  2. Nancy Syzdek, APR
    02/07/2012 at 12:31 PM Permalink

    Great post. However, I disagree on your point about courage. If you have the courage to stand up for your convictions and provide sound counsel, you have no need to run.

    I would also add Mentor. We all have a duty to share our knowledge and cultivate the next generation of professionals. We have as much to learn from them as they do from us.

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