Musings of a PR Professional

Chapter 5: Navigating a Changing Industry

What we have been talking about in my journalism classes since my freshman year is the focus of this chapter- the news industry is going down. And fast. But this fact has different implications in a public relations course than a journalism one.

For example, in journalism we talked about the concept of convergence as something that we would have to tackle and master as journalists. Like the example given at the beginning of this chapter, each of us (if we wanted to pursue a career in journalism as it stands today) would need to be a Lynn Sweet. We would need to be able to write, shoot pictures and video, edit, record audio, and more, all for different media platforms.

On the other hand, in PR, I think the book sums it up best when it states, “The basic tools for media outreach remain the same in key ways, but the long-term trend is to combine them in a single package for all media.” We’ve discussed media kits in my previous public relations courses which should contain everything from a news release to a podcast. Because the way journalists are reporting is changing, so do PR professionals. We need to give them the information we want them to have in the form that they want. It sounds simple, but the way the Internet has changed the game has made this anything but.

It is no secret that the Internet has shaken up the public relations field. However, I think that being a PR student right now puts me at an advantage for one big reason: social media. I get it. I’m on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Flikr, and more. I understand that these platforms are based on two-way communication and relationships and I think I know how to navigate and utilize these sites pretty well. I’m not an expert by any means, but I’m in the best possible position I could be in to learn. I’ve grown up with the Internet, these things integrate into my life almost seamlessly.

Not that it’s all about the Internet. The text says it itself, it’s still a huge accomplishment to get your nonprofit’s spokesperson a TV interview, or an event your organization is putting on news coverage in a magazine. These media are still important and despite the current emphasis on social media, it is important to remember that the Internet may be the future- but it’s not the only source of PR right now.


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