Never has there been a more rewarding time to clear the way for somewhat unexplored territory, having the opportunity to help create new ways in which to communicate.
Not meaning to sound presumptuous, there is something exciting about believing you play an important role in making new discoveries. For those who work in communications, that is exactly the feeling.
I’ll explain: despite having experienced many changes over the last 20 years of my career, those changes have been more exact, and even more certain. Perhaps it wasn’t the changes themselves, but rather the natural evolution of things. Recently, however, we have seen the need for real changes. Some models simply don’t work anymore, and some behaviors are entirely new and surprising.
Here’s where we come in, as explorers, to question, trying new paths forward, developing different models, failing, and getting it right. I’ve seen renowned professionals and pioneers who succeed at integrated communications, only to focus on just one part of it or to bet on separate business model. Some agencies believe in modern positioning but their delivery is traditional. Some clients want to be bold, but end up reverting to the same old practices.
It really isn’t easy for anyone. The fun part is clearing the way for somewhat unexplored territory, and having the opportunity to help create new ways in which to communicate. Never has there been a better or more rewarding time to work in this area.
There are those who believe PR is about spontaneous media – in the form of media coverage or posts by digital influencers. Sorry, but that’s not the case. Our objective is to utilize all platforms to build and strengthen relationships. That can certainly be done by generating spontaneous media, but so too can it be – and should be – done by using owned channels, social media, paid media, activations and sponsored content. All of this, today, is Public Relations. Better still, it’s what it’s always been, looking at the essence of the profession.
There are those who believe that the big spenders in advertising will continue spending millions in campaign production. Sorry, but they won’t. We are seeing first-hand how streaming and digital are changing how we consume news, entertainment, products and everything else. The number of Youtube viewers has already surpassed that of TV in the United States. Here, children and adolescents won’t change a program on Youtube for (almost) anything. We also know that digital media is definitely more affordable than traditional media; production is also more affordable; it’s definitely more measurable; and the big-name brands are diverting a large portion of their budgets to digital media.