Where are you going, PR?

Or really, what’s our future going to be?

Are we about to be relegated to the publicity junk heap of the Interwebs? Not that there’s anything wrong with publicity.  As a proud, former publicist I believe there’s much value for that.

There’s an old joke that goes something like this:

What’s the difference between advertising and PR?

In advertising you pay, in PR, you pray.

But in our ever-changing social/digital landscape, pretty much all the marketing disciplines are doing their fair share of praying now.

In the days of media supremacy not too long ago, we used to be known for our relationships. We had them, clients needed them. And we could pull our our Rolodex and boom – insta-coverage the next day. On the front page, no less.

OK, that’s not how it worked. The reality is it was always a much more complex and nuanced interaction than that.

And while we did many other things – including corporate communications, events, speeches, bylined articles, internal communications, public affairs, investor relations – it was our ability to generate awareness in mainstream media that kept our phones ringing.

Remember when they used to ring a lot?

Well they don’t anymore and even if you could get a media person (or blogger) on the other end of the line, chances are they’d rather get your story via email or social networks.

I wonder if there isn’t a deep, dark secret PR is hiding about what clients are asking us to do and what we can really deliver that demonstrates value and results. Our industry needs to change, but is leadership up to the task?

Interested in reading more? Check out my guest post on today’s Spin Sucks. Or feel free to suggest your ideas. And stay tuned for more.

And thanks to Gini Dietrich and Lindsay Bell for featuring me there!

About Martin Waxman

Martin Waxman is a digital, social media and communications strategist, content marketer, social media trainer and instructor and co-founder of three PR agencies. He blogs at myPALETTE and hosts the Inside PR podcast.