29 Mar Public Relations Then and Now
While my coworkers (cough, Jonathan, cough) choose to believe I am barely 15, my youth does show when I try to picture how public relations was done in an era not all that long ago. Today, we are glued to our computers, sorting obsessively through emails and scouring Google alerts for any mention of a client. But less than 20 years ago the Internet was not around and “a day in the life of a PR pro” looked vastly different than what my colleagues and I spend 40-some hours a week doing.
With the existence of the 24-hour news cycle and the notion that anyone can be a “journalist” through creating a blog, hardly any news remains unheard today. This makes it particularly difficult to keep leaks from happening or to take back a message that has not totally been thought through. We have all seen the “accidental” tweets that companies wish they could erase from the minds of their followers (looking at you Progressive Insurance).
The firm InkHouse Media + Marketing, put together a great infographic showcasing just how much has changed in public relations since the turn of the century. What was once limited to planned in advanced press conferences with carefully thought out messaging is now a spur of the moment Twitter chat. News that you once had to wait until the next morning to read about is now written instantly and published as the story is breaking. There is no doubt that PR is a different ball game today – not allowing for much down time.
So when did you start working in the PR business? What do you view as the biggest change between now and when you first started in the industry?