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Public relations isn’t modernising quickly enough

Confidence in public relations is a long-standing challenge. Yesterday’s blog post covered issues raised more than two year’s ogo.

I published a blog post yesterday about how public relations lacked confidence.

My thesis is that we’ve never had such an opportunity to assert our value to organisations and yet we remain introspective. We must assert our value and get over our inferiority complex.

The post generated as much traffic to my blog in 24 hours as anything I’ve written recently. It was syndicated on the CIPR Conversation, the ICCO blog, and LinkedIn.

The conversation on LinkedIn and Twitter acknowledged the issue and cited many of the challenges that we face both in practice and in the profession.

I need to come clean.

Much of the content was based on a blog post that I published in February 2013. You can look the original up for yourself and compare the differences.

Now tell me that public relations isn’t moving fast enough as it shifts from publicity to influencer relations, branded media, communities and social business?

In those 28-months so much and yet so little has happened.

The public relations business is poised to become incredibly valuable to organisations, or irrelevant.

We must confidently assert our contribution to the broader economy and the organisations that we serve if we are to consolidate our position as a management discipline.

We must cease to obsess about competition from advertising, creative, digital and marketing.

The customer doesn’t care about the blurring of disciplines. The C-suite is following her lead. It just wants to see results aligned to the organisation’s purpose.

The issues we face in practice are well documented: measurement, media, paid, planning, and workflow. In the profession: diversity, gender, professionalism, reputation, and value.

What are you doing to help move practice and the profession forward?

I’ll revisit this topic in two-years. Mark your diary for 2017.

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Stephen Waddington

Partner and Chief Engagement Officer, Ketchum and Visiting Professor in Practice, Newcastle University.

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