I asked if we are teaching a trade at university and go back to the last cohort I taught in the UK.
Rhetorically I asked:
- Did I challenge thinking about privacy in a Big Data era?
- What are the PR consequences of machine understanding in an age of semantic computing?
- Was the idea that the statements students make with their dress code are also a statement that their clothes could make to each other (Internet of Things doing PR)?
- Is the idea of digital ghettos an issue for public relations as big as ethics in corporate affairs?
These are big questions for today's students because they will have to face the answers within five years after leaving university.
For the practitioners who want to see students coming to them ready made to stuff press releases into envelopes and tweet sweet nothings for a client, this is not good news. Neither it should be.
This is normal PR that is taught to junior practitioners with five 'O' levels. It is something the graduate learns in the her six week induction along with the fire drill.
For the practitioner who wants an employees with an understanding of the rate of change in our society, then students need to have thought through 'next generation PR' (n'genPR) practice.
In writing proposals for a client this month, did you consider the influence of employees contribution to LinkedIn Groups? This is a very important media and you can find out how it signifies using semantic search.
You need Big Data PR to find the right employees and then how to motivate them without being unethical?
Woah! Ethics, Semantic Search, Big Data, LinkedIn (a media outlet in its own right) what?
Now, this is not tomorrows' PR. This is this weeks' proposal and already you are venturing into so called n'genPR.
Ooops, now what about the same thinking applied to - the client's key constituent's umbrella - you know, the one that 'listens' to the weather forecast and tweets to be taken out on rainy days (and back again when its fine) and has your PR message on it? Hey! There you go, the Internet of Things PR.