Last week I attended the CIPR guest lecture by Brian Beech, Managing Director of Euro RSCG Manchester. Brian gave a brilliant introduction to what is Public Relations, including some of the factors that are rapidly changing our industry.
After some reflection, here are some things I think are important to be aware of in order to keep up in the PR world, as nobody wants to fall behind now.
The evolution of the media landscape in the last 20 years:
What is changing?
- The explosion of social media
How quickly things change. Remember dial up connections and slow, clumsy websites? Nowadays a business who ignores new technology is not only left looking old-fashioned, but they’re also missing out on lucrative opportunities. I’m sure I don’t need to tell you that social media is rapidly changing the way we communicate. However, social media is now being considered an incredibly powerful business tool. Websites, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Blogging have exploded in popularity, allowing you to bring your business to life and make it constantly current and topical.
- Decline in ‘traditional’ print media
With the increase of online news sites comes the decrease in people buying papers. Why should we spend 90p on a paper that we can read online for free? Readership has certainly declined and papers are having to find new ways of making profit. In 2010, The Times announced that it would start charging for content in its website. However circulation numbers of UK newspapers are much higher than many other countries, so the old fashioned papers may not be extinct just yet.
- Less journalists and more non-for profit, consumer generated content
Nowadays, anyone can voice their opinions. Be it by blogging or sending out a tweet, users can generate their own content available worldwide – you no longer have to be published in a local newspaper or appear on the local news to be heard. Consumers now chose what they want on their personal devices. They are their own editors, their own filmmakers and their own DJs. Journalism has been revolutionized with the development of online newspapers, with the demand for constant updates twenty-four hours a day. The face of journalism has changed drastically from that of 20 years ago.
With all of this happening in just two decades – It’s a very exciting time to be in the industry, isn’t it?