Why PR’s Homecoming may not be so sweet

For those of you who follow the PR Moment Blog you may have seen Ben Smith’s post last week about how many PROs are spending only around 50% of their time on media relations these days:

A couple of years ago the vast majority of PROs’ time was spent on media relations. I think most people believe media relations continues to dominate the average working day of PR execs, both those in house and at agencies. That said, in a recent straw poll on PRmoment.com, we asked PROs how much time they spent on media relations. To our surprise, you said only about 50%. Imagine looking the PR agency bosses of the 1990’s in the eye and saying that. You would have been out the door, and quick.

As I mentioned in today’s article on PR Moment, a lot of time is spent developing longer term campaign strategies, that all the more often these days are influencing the marketing directions of clients, far outside the boundaries of PR.

PR 2.0 may come as a shock to some

Holistic marketing and taking a 360 approach to client briefs is meaning more time is being spent by PROs developing engaging content for both the on and offline word, analysing conversations taking place in social media, and developing new and exciting “value exchanges” for journalists (be them citizen or paid) and social users.

The change is gradual at the moment, but particularly when engaging with social media influencers, traditional media relations (Press Release & Push Tactics) will not cut it, as these people are not used to (for now anyway) being pitched to. Hence it is no surprise to me that more time is taken up on these other elements of what @briansolis would call PR 2.0.

This has vast ramifications for the next generations of PROs coming through the ranks – as we saw from last weeks skills report from Major Players (See Ben Cotton’s interview with Edelman’s Marshall Manson on the topic here), many PROs are not embracing these new practices and the changing role of the PRO at the rate that the market demands. Those who want to succeed in this changing space need to adapt. And Fast.

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2 responses to “Why PR’s Homecoming may not be so sweet

  1. Isn’t interaction with social media influencers still media relations? Sure, you take a slightly different tact but it’s the same underlying process and goals.

    In my experience, the rest of time is taken up by client relations, writing (reports and content) and strategy. Exact proportions seem to shift week by week. Not sure that’s something that even can change?

    • You are quite right Max – SM relations is media relations – in the future we won’t even deliniate the two – however the time it takes to do this new form of media relations, particularly for online outlets will change. We see this here even now – more time being spent on developing video content, competitions, experiences and events, than traditional pitching in with releases – from what I see here that is where the money and time is going!

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