When I scanned the blogs this week to find something unique to write about, I hit the jackpot on a blog I’ve never before visited. It’s called PR-Squared.com which focuses on social media and marketing. All of a sudden, the words “Arizona State University’s Cronkite School of Journalism” pop out at me. I couldn’t have been more surprised by this mention.
The author of the blog, Todd Defren, wrote a piece called “The Creative Destruction of Public Relations” in which he notes that Dr. Dawn Gilpin, a Cronkite PR professor, has taken his site off her syllabus because Defren “straddles the line between PR and marketing.” Defren defends his claims by saying that the larger worlds of PR, marketing, advertising and social media are so intertwined that it is impossible not to “straddle the line.”
Defren quotes another PR veteran who hypothesized that PR, as an independent industry, won’t last outright for much longer because of the blurring together of social media, media relations and other abilities.
Above all, I almost gasped when I read this article. The industry I spent four years learning about will be no more in five to 10 years?! What?! But then I looked into it further.
Had I really learned “traditional” PR during my time at Cronkite? Not necessarily. My courses (and internships) have taught me so much about PR, social media, media relations, and yes, even the basics of marketing. Public relations to me isn’t about sending out direct mail and placing ads in newspapers.
Defren’s thoughts are not something to fear; they are something to embrace. We, the Cronkite Class of 2010 or 2011, have been prepared for an ever-changing and developing industry in which consumers demand more, spend less, and are always rewarding creativity in public relations.
So my fellow future Cronkite graduates, what do you think? Can we go out in the world and do more than send out direct mail pieces? Will we be the ones to popularize the “next big thing” in how our agencies/corporations disseminate their messages? I have faith in us.