What is Public Relations Today?

Back in the days of fax distribution lists and beat reporters, who had only one beat, a Public Relations practitioner's world was in some semblance of order. There were formulated news neleases that were written and went out, maybe a graphic package to the print media, b-roll and Video News Releases to TV stations and on air statements that were read for radio interviews. Now, things are in the media are a bit different.

PR folks knew who they were, as well, primarily because they usually were the ones that had a reference of "Public Relations or Communications" somewhere in their title.  They were also the ones that were in charge of communicating something to someone. Now, things in the public relations industry are a bit different.

Along with new ways of communicating, come new expanded roles in the ever expanding field of PR. Some bloggers are now considered members of the media while webmasters and those who monitor and respond to corporate focused social media are considered part of the PR group. 

Lately, department consolidations, brought on by a sour economy, have caused corporate bosses who were solely in charge of departments like community relations; advertising or marketing to now be in charge of external communications and media relations function.

Keeping up with the times, PRSA's national leadership has expanded its definition of who is eligible to be a member of this organization, which means if you work in one of those newly created communications related areas, you too might be considered a public relations professional. The advantage of being a part of PRSA is our constant quest to stay abreast of the newest trends in the industry. We also stress the importance of ethics. We know that working in a profession that is evolving so quickly, it's important to never lose sight of the rules we should follow to keep relevant and credible.

This is an exciting time for anyone working in the communications field.   The last time we've gone through a transition in the way people receive information this radical was in the 1940's when television replaced radio as the main source of news and entertainment. The media is slowly adjusting and waiting patiently to see where all these changes will finally end up.  PR professionals are also adjusting and trying out different ways of communicating effectively with gatekeepers and the public.

Before this new communication model is done morphing from what it was to what it will be, we'll see more changes and new jobs created that are classified as being a part of the PR profession.  For those who find themselves in a new role, seek us out, we'll educate you on how to be more proficient at your job, regardless how different and unique it may be.

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