PR, Media and the Space Between

Posted on September 13th 2008

The space between media and public relations is filled with gray, but we're learning very quickly that the more things change, the smaller that space becomes. Already, each of us has experienced profound change in our industry. I say that with confidence knowing that the readers of this blog have taken steps to engage and experiment beyond traditional industry thinking. Those who haven't will find out soon enough.



Journalists

You are seeing (and in some cases feeling) the transitions more rapidly than others. As newspaper revenues dip due to a lack of advertising revenue and readers jump to free online news sources, budgets and people are cut as a result. While some progressive newspapers have chosen to adopt new, more social tactics, others have not, which leaves journalists alone to fend for themselves in the blogosphere - an unknown territory for most just a few years back. How will broadcast journalism adapt to even faster methods of news gathering and reporting? (See Robert Scoble's Twitter and the China Earthquake). As news consumers we've already become our own producers, and that's just the beginning.

Bloggers
You are a unique group. While some of you have been able to capitalize on traditional online advertising, the verdict for sustainability seems to be hanging in the balance. Is it industry or hobby? Or, has it become a necessity of business outreach? It seems the more business-minded a journalist or blogger is these days, the better their chance for survival going forward. Learning how to make a living online is a difficult task and one I'm sure many of you wish you had the answer to. Time will tell on this one, but one thing is for sure - there sure are a lot of us.

PR Pros
For you, major changes are just beginning to unfold. With an ever-diminishing stable of traditional media to pitch, those PR pros among us are forced to change our methods and adapt. While it's fair to say that more traditional media will remain for a few more years, it's also safe to assume the mediascape will look much different five years from now. PR pros will need to reevaluate who their pitching - journalists, bloggers, or maybe even consumers - and how their pitching them. Will brands rely on PR to connect to consumers through social media, or will they utilize a traditional marketing to reach them? Will media become more segmented or more broad with the evolution of online news and other content?

Change
The common bond we all share is change. Whether it's the motto of your party's campaign, or the title of the next generation (after Y or Z, or whatever it is), big change is happening in the broader media industry and that impacts each of you who make it your livelihood. Brian Solis puts it best with the title of his blog post "The Social Revolution is our Industrial Revolution". While our core skills and talents are important, just as Jeremy Pepper points out in his "Slave to Technology" post, we all understand that media is evolving and so are the tools and methods.

As informed as we are, none of us know exactly how it's all going to shake out, but each of us have found the need to seek out and explore this new frontier. There are many uncertainties, but the enthusiasm and inspiration social media provides us far out ways the unknown. You are here because you are inspired. Because you see the opportunity and want to embrace it. That's what makes you a champion of change and it's what will arm you for survival in this social media revolution.

Posted on PitchEngine | PR Meets Social Media