PR agencies must adopt big data, the semantic web and the internet of things, otherwise they will not survive. This has been the overall sentiment of a new White Paper published today by Keene Communications called ‘All PR is Online’. The paper, written by Professor David Phillips FCIPR and Philip Young, is based upon an abstract of their upcoming third edition of Online Public Relations which will be published by Kogan Page later this year. I had the challenge and honour of editing the paper which can be download here.
As it says in the paper, “let’s pretend it is 1984, when Grunig and Hunt wrote Managing Public Relations.” Back then the majority of media were static mass communication tools, such as newspapers, magazines, television and radio. All of these mediums required huge amounts of work and considerable financial investment. Today any amateur can start their own television station, broadcast audio and write columns.
Today we are in the age of the writable web, where we can contribute content on vast socially connected platforms. The tools of communication have changed but that doesn’t matter, it’s the connectivity of the tools which makes the real difference.
The connectivity of internet tools has introduced us to the age of the amateur. The word ‘amateur’ in Old French literally transcribes as ‘lover of’, social media users produce content for the love of it! This new era of communications means the PR industry needs to revise tactics and approach digital from a more intellectual angle. How else are we going to tackle big data?! It has never been more exciting to create PR campaigns.
It’s refreshing to have worked on a paper that looks beyond social media and instead on the very mechanisms of communication itself. Yet, the paper comes with a warning – unless we keep up with developments of big data, semantic analytics and the internet of things, agencies will inevitably fail. The internet has escaped from the deskbound PC – mobile devices now form an integral part of our lives. Leaving the PR industry with an opportunity to connect with stakeholders on a “deeper” level, but we must adapt our services to keep up.
I began gaining experience in the PR industry in 2008 and already I’ve witnessed gigantic leaps in communication, pushed along by fast evolving online platforms. The very title of the White Paper “All PR is Online” would have seemed completely bizarre in 2008, even controversial. I never knew that when I saw Facebook for the first time in 2005, that it would form part of my career path. Neither did I know that my amateur Atheist blogging days would serve as valuable experience in assisting the communications of global corporations in the future.
Times are moving fast and the authors behind the paper, Professor David Phillips FCIPR and Philip Young remind us that we must adapt or die.
Download a copy of the White Paper for yourself and share your thoughts on it. If you blog about it then do share it with @keenecomms so we can feature your blog in an upcoming post! The White Paper certainly makes some controversial points and it would be great to read feedback from you clever lot.