We all have heard the “talk” going around that journalism is struggling. Being in the j-school, we constantly are brainstorming new business models to keep the industry alive. Is online taking over print? These are the questions we are repeatedly asked on a daily basis. But where does PR fit into this equation?
Blogger, Jennifer Matton, analyzes this issue in her post Journalism is Dead? Matton hesitantly questions this underlying issue of journalism dying. Does that mean we actually have to do our job as PR professionals? Times are evolving and the simple press release strategy just isn’t going to cut it. Matton questions the need for more strategy, more value and more communication.
She compares PR to a theory that I found very interesting. “Everyone can communicate, they just can’t do it well.” This is why PR will never die. Matton says getting rid of PR is like saying the airline business is no longer a service because people can get around on their own. If that happens, we can only get so far. With respect to PR, people only know how to communicate to a certain extent.
Whether the economy realizes it or not, everyone could use PR to strengthen their relationships with key stakeholders. But isn’t building relationships as easy as making friends? Or so I thought…
So much more goes in to the making of a successful PR practitioner: research, goals, strategies, tactics and the list goes on. We, as professionals, need to master these skills in order to keep our industry from going under.
Now, back to the question at hand. I can only give my opinion on the last half, being a student graduating with a public relations degree. Every business could improve its relationships with their stakeholders and every individual can strive to constantly form new connections and contacts. With this, how can PR ever die when the idea of relationships is so crucial to our society today?
I would like to know what other people in the PR industry think about this. How is it evolving? Can we say that it is going under when the need for PR is so prominent?