The Changing Business of PR

19 Dec The Changing Business of PR

For quite a while now, we (PR pros) have been closely watching the changing media landscape. When I first started in the biz, an online hit was acceptable but everyone wanted to be in the all coveted print publication. But with the shaky economy and the rise of blogs and online readers, the focus today is on getting published online with being in a print edition as a nice little extra – at least within tech PR.

While changes in the media landscape have meant different priorities for our clients, it has also meant changes for us. Publications have fewer reporters on staff than they did just a couple of years ago, which means we are interacting with editorial directors or chasing down freelancers on a regular basis. Blogs have come to hold more influence than they did in the past, which has developed a whole new style of pitching and interacting with influencers who run blogs but also work in the field.

It’s obvious that those of us doing it know that PR is evolving, but we are not the only ones picking up on the change. A recent (I think, there is no date on it) article on Yahoo! Education noticed the changes too. However, they speculate that it’s the death of journalism as a career choice that is changing PR.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 edition almost 4,000 more reporting jobs will be cut by 2020. The obvious force behind the career’s dwindling numbers is the internet and online readers:

“The real driving force, however, has been the Internet, where millions of amateur reporters blog for free, hundreds of sites copy, aggregate, and curate other people’s content (often without due credit), and millions of millennials have learned to get their news from alternative sources, such as Twitter.”

They suggest that the career will evolve to look more like PR, and that there will be an increasing demand for PR with almost 60,000 added jobs before 2020. They assert that in such a cluttered media world, companies are placing a renewed emphasis on PR to help guide them and enhance the image and visibility of the organization. Additionally, the dynamic and sometimes quirky nature of social media platforms (which fall under the news outlet realm now) make the job of news dissemination for a company even more difficult, causing them to turn to PR for help.

Personally, I think this article left out a few of the ways that PR and journalism will continue to collide over the next few years, but it’s on point for the most part. PR is now much more than writing releases and pitching reporters – we manage social outlets, write website copy, sometimes even write articles for publication and more. However, I don’t think careers in journalism will go away, they will just continue to evolve as well.

Ali Robinson
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