Saturday, December 03, 2005

The future of PR in a Word

For Immediate Release, The Hobson Holtz bi weekly podcast will be talking about the future of PR this week.

It will be interesting to see how far they are prepared to go.

The social media tools like blogs, podcasts, wiki's SMS, mobile PR and the rest are a tempting finishing point and yet they are only tools.

The future of PR can be much bigger. If one believes, as I do, that the practice of PR adds value (a comment made by Shel in his Thanksgiving podcasts #88), then the future of PR as the management function that adds value and creates wealth is bright.

If one believes, as I do, that the creation of wealth from tangible and intangible assets is through relationships between organisations and people, then this is our future.

It does mean that a lot of people in the public relations sector will need to go back to school. It means there will be a tussle between PR and other management and academic disciplines such as accounting and economics.

Back to the tools. The inevitability of social media tools is that they become pervasive in the delivery of television, radio, the press and the web and other communication channels. In turn this means that value will be driven by these developments.

The tools will deliver the capability but without PR, all this is noise for the ill prepared corporation (government and other groups). While the changes in technology are inevitable, organisations will loose the opportunity to deliver products and services. They will not be able thereby to create values including profits unless they can see how public relations delivers value and wealth.

It is not inevitable that this is the future of PR. Far too many people in the business do not want us to go down this route. Its complicated, requires education investment in our own futures and is much wider than most PR practice. The PR industry missed the opportunity that the web offered way back in the '90s and has been playing catch up with IT departments since but that was small beer by comparison with being involved wealth creation.

The future of PR could be missed by the PR industry – what is in a name?

Will Hobson Holtz miss the big picture? Tune in and find out.

Picture “I lost myself in abstract meditations” Dale Chihuly, Sea Form 1985